Congratulations 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).
Photo: Western Golden-tip, Goodia medicaginea
The plantings will incorporate genetic material from the remaining Merri Creek populations of these three species, alongside genetic material adapted to low-rainfall regions west of Melbourne. This will ensure local adaptations are preserved, while increasing robustness of the reintroduced populations in the face of climate change. Reintroduced populations will serve as habitat for fauna, provide food and shelter for local birds and reptiles, and will also provide a source of seed to aid future rewilding of these species throughout Darebin’s open space.
The project also has a focus on developing the local community’s understanding of the grassland’s importance. This will be achieved through provision of interpretive materials about grassland ecology and the Seed Production Areas as well as the development of a grassland tour app. Keep an eye out in the 2021 calendar for ways to be involved in the project.