Merri e-News August 2020

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Merri E-News

AUGUST 2020


Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)


Generous Donors Appreciate our 'Ribbon of Magic'

People using Merri pathThanks to 67 generous donors, our 2020 Merri Creek Environment Fund Appeal raised a healthy $14,500. This heartening response reflects how much the local community cares for Merri Creek and people's gratitude for its restored environs. We have seen a huge increase in the number of people using the Merri Creek parklands for their physical and mental well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We were touched by appreciative comments from donors: You have created a ribbon of magic through the suburbs the Merri Creek travels.

I've seen photos of the degraded state of the creek before community members started caring for it.  The collective action has made a remarkable difference, creating a place that gives enormous value to the community and a wonderful environmental benefit.

More Digital Jigsaw Puzzles

Leratiomyces ceres SMF 2051 CC BYpobblebonk smallcover smWe now have three different sets of free Digital Jigsaw Puzzles on our website: Merri Frogs (4 puzzles), Merri Fungi (6) and images from our Creek Life book (6). The puzzles are here and can be adapted for all ages and abilities.

Thanks to Peter Batchelor of Internet Technology Services, for facilitating these puzzles.  

The benefits of 40 years of activism along the Merri

Ann Bruce 1977Merri Creek stars in a recent paper on Communities caring for land and nature in Victoria published in the Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education by long-term Merri Creek activists, Ann and Bruce McGregor.

The McGregor's paper explores the importance of getting to know an area to be more a part of it and nature, and that areas suitable for outdoor adventure lie unnoticed near the centre of Melbourne. It outlines evidence that humans need nature in order to live happy, healthy lives and gives personal examples from Ann and Bruce's 40 years of activism on Merri Creek.

It highlights the important role that community organisations like Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek have played in caring for land and nature along Merri Creek, and the significance of the Victorian National Parks Association at the state level. The paper was originally presented to the Victorian Outdoor Education Conference in 2019. 

Photo: newspaper cutting of Ann and Bruce McGregor planting along Merri Creek in 1977.

New Birds of Merri Creek posters White plumed Honeyeater poster web

Six more Merri bird signs have been placed at a number of sites along the Merri Creek Shared Path between the Birrarung/Yarra River and Moomba Park in Fawkner. 
Each of the posters has a scannable QR code that leads to more information on the bird. See how many posters you can find and how many of the birds you can see along the creek.

The Birds of Merri Creek posters are a joint initiative of the Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek.


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Work begins on the 'Bequest site'

Bequest site plantingThe first stage of a five-year plan for a 'Bequest site' next to Merri Creek in Oldis Gardens, Northcote, has been completed. The site was prepared, planted and mulched by Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) through the generosity of Geoff Richards. Geoff plans to leave a bequest to Friends of Merri Creek (FoMC) in memory of his partner, Harry Nash. However, he is keen to see some restoration at the site and is donating $5,000 p.a. for five years to FoMC to achieve this. The site, above a spectacular basalt escarpment, is close to where Geoff and Harry lived.

FoMC has contracted MCMC to develop the site over the next five years, tackling a fifth of the site at a time.  MCMC will do the weed control and site preparation and organise community planting with indigenous plants. The whole Bequest sit' will be maintained in perpetuity, with planting and weed control undertaken as necessary. 
FoMC is currently in discussion with Darebin City Council about a sign for the site which will be called The Harry Nash Indigenous Garden.

Successful Fungi of the Merri - Webinar

Chip Cherries Leratiomyces ceresA very successful Fungi of the Merri webinar, with Fungal Ecologist, Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher, was held in July 2020, attracting 69 participants.
The link takes you to a recording of the presentation, which is full of fascinating information about the fungi found near Merri Creek and their important roles.
The webinar was jointly organised by the Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee. (Photo: Chip Cherries, Leratiomyces ceres).

Help publish a full colour book on Fungi
You can help publish Australia’s first book on practical land management harnessing the mysterious mycological kingdom: Fungi for land, by donating here.


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Hanna Swamp: forgotten Wallan Wallan wetland

Scale Swamp Dunkeld Vic Hanna Swamp, a remnant wetland of the upper Merri, is ripe for restoration. It is vital that imminent planning decisions don't preclude this option. Hanna Swamp lies about 50km north of Melbourne on the eastern side of Herne Swamp near Wallan. The future of Hanna Swamp is the subject of a recent blog and a hard-hitting discussion paper from the Nature Glenelg Trust.

Despite agricultural drainage, Hanna Swamp's morphology persists across the bulk of its original footprint and it still temporarily inundates on a semi-regular basis. Natural wetlands are very forgiving ecosystems, capable of supporting plants that are especially adept at bouncing back after decent rainfall. Sustained recovery of Hanna Swamp is potentially only a single season away, as long as water is retained instead of drained away.

Photo: Spectacular habitat recovery at Scale Swamp, near Dunkeld, SW Victoria in 2017, 3 years after restoration. Prior to restoration, this site was largely devoid of native vegetation and has a broadly similar agricultural drainage history to Hanna Swamp. © NGT


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Successful froginar now on-line

common froglet mcmcLooking for a fun activity to do? This webinar will take you on a froggy adventure from the safety of your living room! to discover the City of Darebin’s frogs.

There are over eight different types of frogs you can hear on a walk around Darebin, including Eastern Froglets, Marsh Frogs and Banjo (Pobblebonk) Frogs. Learn to recognise different frog calls using the Melbourne Water frog census app and collect citizen science data to help protect and manage frog habitat.


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Pesticide Detectives - round 3 results

Five Mile Creek sampling Julia April 2020Sediment samples have been collected from Five Mile Creek in Essendon and sent off for testing as part of the fantastic Pesticide Detectives program. The positive news is that, as with the results from Merri Creek late last year, there were no pesticides found in the sample.

The nation-wide citizen science project is a collaboration between volunteer citizen scientists and RMIT University’s Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST). The program is investigating the occurrences and concentrations of pesticides in Australian waterways. Pesticides found in our waterways include those used in homes and gardens, as well as the pesticides used in agriculture.


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Reporting rubbish and litter issues

Rubbish on the MerriWith increasing numbers of people using the Merri Creek Shared Path, MCMC is receiving more reports from people concerned about litter and rubbish. We appreciate being notified of these issues. However the best way to get action on dumped rubbish is to report it to the relevant Council, as they are responsible for rubbish clean-ups.

The SnapSendSolve app makes reporting of rubbish easy. You use your phone to snap a photo and send a report. The app knows which Council area you are in. One of our staff members recently used SnapSendSolve for this photo of rubbish under the Moreland Rd bridge over Merri Creek. Moreland Council promptly responded and the rubbish was removed.

Grant for Native Grassland

Western Golden tipCongratulations to our member group, Friends of Merri Creek, for being awarded $14,549 from the City of Darebin’s Community Grants Program. The grant will help to protect threatened species and ecosystems in Reservoir’s Ngarri-djarrang Grassland Reserve. The project was developed with substantial support from MCMC and MCMC will oversee its implementation. The 12-month project will engage volunteers to create resilient Seed Production Areas for three rare and threatened plants – Western Golden-tip (rare in Victoria), Arching Flax-lily (vulnerable in Victoria) and Common Everlasting (locally threatened).


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Check our calendar for webinars and events

Although our face-to-face community activities have been suspended due to the the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a number of webinars coming up, so check out our calendar. If you would like to be notified about these events, and for face-to-face events when they resume along Merri Creek, sign up here. You can choose 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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