Merri e-News - August 2019

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Merri E-News

AUGUST 2019


Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)


Our first cool cultural burn

Cool cultural burn at Bababi Djinanang July 2019Under the guidance of Uncle Dave Wandin and the Wurundjeri Tribe Council’s Narrap Team,⁠ Merri Creek Managment Committee (MCMC) staff participated in their first cool burn at Bababi Djinanang Grassland, Fawkner in mid-July 2019. Cool burns, also known as cultural burns, are conducted using traditional Indigenous land management techniques.

They differ from our usual ecological burns which are normally done in mid-autumn, with a hot fire which moves fast due to the largely dried out vegetation. In contrast, cool burns are done following heavy rains, when the soil is wet and lots of green vegetation has resprouted. The cool fire moves slowly and burns a patchy mosaic, giving wildlife time to move to safe ground.


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Successful 2019 Merri Creek Environment Fund Appeal

Spotted Pardalote cropped P MollisonThanks to 76 generous donors, our 2019 Merri Creek Environment Fund Appeal raised a healthy $14,655. This excellent response shows just how much the local community cares for Merri Creek and supports initiatives to improve the creek, its wildlife and biodiversity. The fundraising theme was 'Making Homes for Wildlife' and the funds will provide nest boxes for birds and microbats and support for associated community monitoring. This will nicely complement a related nest box grant (see Grant Successes article below).

We need nest boxes for tree-hollow dependent creatures, because the planted trees along the lower Merri Creek are many decades away from forming natural hollows.

Merri Creek grant successes

Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) is delighted to have received $13,186 from The Hazel and Arthur Bruce Bequest for a project that will provide Homes for micro bats and pardalotes on the Merri. This project will be rolled out in Merri Park Northcote during 2019-20. Keep an eye out for community events related to this initiative by subscribing to our events notifications. We will run a community information session about the project and offer a series of training events for volunteers to monitor the success of the nest boxes.

We also congratulate our member group, Friends of Merri Creek, for success with three grant applications for which MCMC staff provided technical assistance.


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Turning curriculum into creekulum!

Moreland PS Creekside Teacher PD 7.3.19The whole Moreland Primary School community kicked off 2019 with a radical education project called Future Makers and the Merri Merri Creek. The project, coordinated by school parent Sarita Gálvez, began with a professional development day for all school staff, including two walks to Merri Creek led by Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC), and a guided talk at Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum.


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Children discover nearby nature on Merri Creek!

Walker St Kinder 1 2Four-year old children from Walker Street Community Kindergarten enjoyed nature play by Merri Creek at Hall Reserve in Clifton Hill in late July 2019, led by MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator. The day began somewhat wet and windy, but many of the children wore gumboots and raincoats and enjoyed splashing through puddles and clambering through wet grass.

After a stroll to look at the height of the creek after rain and noticing how much rubbish was there, the children enjoyed looking for little creatures under leaf litter and bark, smelling eucalypt leaves, observing the growth of seedlings, and looking at waterbugs with magnifying glasses.

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Seed Production Area in East Brunswick backyard

6 Planting garden2 16 7 19We have converted some unused space in our backyard at 2 Lee St Brunswick East into a Seed Production Area (SPA). Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Cooperative (VINC) kindly provided the plants which were installed into rows of drip-watered beds in mid-July 2019. The SPA will help ensure a steady supply of Merri-provenance seed is available for propagation by VINC, and for direct sowing by Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) into the Merri Creek grasslands.


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Merri Creek community events in Fawkner

Melb City Mission 3We partnered with Melbourne City Mission for a morning of activities along Merri Creek in Fawkner during the 2019 Easter School holidays. Activities included a walk and talk along the creek, looking for birds and other wildlife. A Swamp Wallaby was spotted on the banks of the Merri, we caught waterbugs from of the creek, tested the water (salinity and turbidity) and met a local Spotted Marsh Frog. Kids also had fun rolling down hills and climbing trees. The session finished with morning tea put on by Melbourne City Mission.


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Merri Linking with Corporate Groups

Corporate group picStaff from Intrepid Group participated in three different hands-on activities this year. After twice handweeding in East Brunswick earlier in the year, they planted over 500 small indigenous flowering plants (forbes) at Moomba Park, Fawkner in late July (photo left). These plants will help to link habitat and create a seed source for future rare plants along the Merri.

CSL Ltd staff planted shrubs and removed woody weeds at Galada Tamboore in early July as part of a bird habitat creation project funded MCMC's Merri Creek Environment Fund. They also helped out last year at a planting near Merri Creek in Fawkner, for a project funded by Melbourne Water.

Our sincere thanks to the Intrepid and CSL staff for their efforts  If your corporate group would like to volunteer with MCMC, check out the information here and get in touch.

Real Estate's positive view of Merri Creek

20190420 120752 cropped smallEveryone in Melbourne's northern suburbs has heard of Merri Creek (well almost).  Real Estate ads often list 'close to Merri Creek' as part of a property's attractions.  That's a stark contrast to four decades ago when property near Merri Creek, at that time considered considered a weed-infested drain, was so cheap that Councils were able to buy up properties to create parts of what is now the Merri Creek parklands.

How far from Merri Creek does today's positive effect extend? A terrific blog article, not by Merri Creek Management Committee, answers this question. Using on-line data to analyse real estate ads and generate maps, the author shows that properties up to 1.3km from Merri Creek include the word "Merri" in their description.  Read the full article here.  

New Upper Merri Creek Parks - progress!

FOMC bus tour 1108 Merri at Merri Park cThe promise of a new Upper Merri Park linked to a Wallan Regional Park along the Merri is coming closer to reality. Both are critical parts of the Greater Wallan-Merri Park concept, a 2016 joint initiative of MCMC, Friends of Merri Creek and Wallan Environment Group to create A living landscape for a liveable Melbourne.  

The Upper Merri Park is one of five new 'suburban' parks the State Government has committeed to. A feasibility study for the Wallan Regional Park is also commencing. The park boundaries will be determined through consultation with stakeholders and community.  

MCMC had a very positive first meeting with the DEWLP project officers for the Upper Merri Park in mid-July - see below for key steps and time-lines for the park development process.


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Follow us on Instagram

Instagram logoMCMC is now on instagram! Follow us for a regular dose of inspiring ecological restoration images, special Merri Creek plants, community activities and more. See instagram.com/merri_creek/ 

We have lots of activities for you!

We have lots of activities coming up and there's bound to be something that suits you. Just check out our calendar, or if you would like to be notified about events along Merri Creek, sign up here. You can sign up to receive email notices for all events, for events in a specific area, or for certain types of events. 

Merri Creek Management Committee. 2 Lee St, East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia 3057  (view map in new window )
Phone:(03) 9380 8199     Email: admin@mcmc.org.au
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