Merri e-News November 2023

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Merri E-News

NOVEMBER 2023


Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)


Birds of Merri Creek Calendar 2024

Bird Calendar 2024 coverLocal photographer, Adi Tudor, has created her fourth wonderful Birds of Merri Creek calendar and is once again generously donating half the profits to the Merri Creek Environment Fund. This beautiful A4 portrait size calendar features thirteen photos of birds from along Merri Creek and is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. It also includes the dates of next year's Friends of Merri Creek BirdWatch Surveys. This is an ideal Christmas present for  $30.00 (includes FREE local delivery) or $36.70 (incl. postage).

Order from the Friends of Merri Creek on-line shop, which also has other Merri Creek gifts, but be quick, as numbers are limited. The calendars are also available at CERES Nursery and CERES Grocery, in Brunswick East.

Wish people a “Merri Christmas” and help our creek as well

PardoloteFlame Robin Merri Christmas card 2018Merri Christmas card 2019

Wish people a “Merri Christmas” with these stunning cards featuring the Sacred Kingfisher, Flame Robin, and Spotted Pardalote. They're only $30 for 20 cards, or $20 for 10. All proceeds go towards Merri Creek restoration projects. Order these and other Merri Creek gifts from the Friends of Merri Creek on-line shop.

Successful Roundtable on Platypus Recovery

Merri Paddle Roundtable Julia PeterTo commemorate National Threatened Species Day, the Merri Paddle, a subgroup of Friends of Merri Creek, recently hosted a Roundtable of Stakeholders to discuss ways to bring platypus back to the Merri. Participants from member councils (Cities of Hume, Whittlesea, Merri-bek and Yarra) and organisations, including Melbourne Water, the EPA, DEECA & AQUEST (RMIT), presented and participated in discussions on practical solutions for improving Merri Creek at specific sites to facilitate an increase in platypus numbers on the Merri. Besides Merri Paddle and Friends of Merri Creek, the community was represented by Rotary, Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance and MCMC. The event was a positive, collaborative and pragmatic approach that we hope will solidify and create new partnerships in order to reduce pollution levels in the Merri.

To learn more about the Merri Paddle group go to: https://www.friendsofmerricreek.org.au/merri-paddle

Sincere thanks to the funders of the event: Melbourne Water, Friends of Merri Creek, MCMC and the City of Merri-bek with support from DEECA and the City of Darebin.

A Little Nature Play: Supporting Kids in Open Spaces

Kinder Kids TreeWe’re continuing to strengthen our outreach with early years communities in Whittlesea and Hume. We work with educators to explore opportunities that are local, respect indigenous biodiversity and leave no footprint. When we support educators to visit nearby natural areas with young children, we suggest how to think about Bush Kinder and Nature Play differently.

Early years learning programs that take children for walks and exploration have been shown to have strong positive health impacts.

MCMC’s A Little Nature Play program introduces early years educators to walkable beautiful places which you can enjoy with children and leave no footprint.

Our A Little Nature Play program provides opportunities which value children’s social and physical wellbeing. After we get together and explore ideas and places with staff, our goal is to take children out together and encourage long-term independent connections to nearby places.

Please get in touch if you’d like our support: admin@mcmc.org.au.

Farewell to Monica

Monica 13 10 23Our Administration Officer, Monica Wiilliamson, has retired from MCMC after 15 years of being the go-to person in the office for all things admin, organising, community, committee, and much more - including 10 years of taking the Minutes at our Committee meetings and seeing us safely through the COVID lockdowns.

Among Monica's many achievements was organising MCMC's 20th Anniversary Celebration, a photographic exhibition of beautiful black and white photos of Galada Tamboore by local photographer David Tatnall. Highlights included working with and learning from Aboriginal Elders, Uncle Dave Wandin and Uncle Jack Charles, and hearing their stories of growing up along the Merri. She also fielded many calls from the public, including one report of seeing a crocodile in the creek!

Many thanks to Monica for her commitment and contribution to MCMC over many years. We'll miss her but we'll still stay in touch, as she voluntarily looks after the Friends of Merri Creek on-line shop - where you can also buy a number of Merri Creek gifts.

MCMC participates in water network

Working with Water Bernadette2MCMC's Executive Officer, Bernadette Thomas, recently participated in two water network events:

Melbourne Biodiversity Network:  This series of workshops was launched by the University of Melbourne and design studio, OFFICE to create a network of public spaces forming a bio-diverse web of ecological corridors throughout Melbourne. MCMC shared information about our history, strong community involvement, engagement with the diverse Merri community, partnering with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, and our ideas for how collaboration works well. The Network's aim is to link these underutilised spaces with existing corridors, like Merri Creek, and so improve biodiversity within our city.

Working with Water ParticipantsWorking with Water:  This event series, hosted by Regeneration Projects and La Loyka, involved five workshops focused on how different waterway organisations worked to address climate change, biodiversity, and habitat loss. MCMC joined Kooyongkoot Alliance, and again highlighted the long history of community involvement, participation, and leadership in bringing Merri Creek back to life. The focus was on the importance of connection to nature, learning from people using the creek and those working to restore it, and the interconnections between urban biodiversity, ecosystem restoration, and community wellbeing – all core to MCMC’s vision. Download a summary of this event HERE.

Merri's birds in 'Porneet' season for kids

SkinArt Birds 2023 KidsWurundjeri Woi-wurrung people understand the September and October months as Porneet season on Country. This time has many warmer and sunnier days which plants and animals respond to. In Porneet this year, MCMC's community activities have focussed on birds and we've seen them fluttering around to mate and foraging for nest building materials, and noted that nests range from leafy, twiggy constructions, to  mud lined with feathers, or woven with horsehair!

Merri Creek Primary School students enjoyed spying on three nests by the Merri and saw the arrival of Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Wood Ducks, Chestnut Teals and one Northern Mallard. The children could easily identify these birds by using the Friends of Merri Creek’s brochure: Merri Birds.

During vacation program in Hawkstowe Recreation Reserve in Plenty Gorge Parklands, we observed Australian Wood Ducks searching for food with 11 fluffy chicks, and drew Sacred Kingfishers and learnt about their long journey and special habits.

In Merri-bek, children queued up to have local birds painted on their hands as part of a festival in Coburg. This led to wonderful exchanges about indigenous biodiversity, and to noticing the pinkishness of Kookaburra's beaks and the bluishness of wing feathers, the importance of healthy feet and places to perch, the different shapes of beaks, the long flights for migrating Sacred Kingfishers to visit Merri Creek.

Email admin@mcmc.org if you’d like support to focus on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung seasons and local plants and animals.

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