Merri Creek Management Committee

Rubbish on the MerriDue to the current Stage 4 restrictions in Greater Melbourne, we won't be supporting litter clean ups, even as part of daily exercise, at this time.

MCMC and Friends of Merri Creek applaud your continued efforts to liberate Merri Creek and its tributaries from the accumulation of plastics, polystyrene and other human made detritus that comes through the stormwater drains, is purposely dumped, or thoughtlessly discarded.

When out for your walks, if you do see a large amount of dumped litter you can download the SnapSendSolve app and report the dumping there. This will get forwarded to the nearest council, who will respond.

Nankeen Night Heron CTzarosAt the Merri Birds Webinar, held on Saturday 12 September,  Friends of Merri Creek bird survey leaders highlighted their regular survey sites and spoke about their favourite Merri birds, including the Nankeen Night-Heron, Tawny Frogmouth and Golden-headed Cisticola. An extensive question and answer session followed the presentations.

If you missed out on attending the webinar you can now watch the recording.  

This was a joint event of Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee.
Photo: Nankeen Night-Heron by C Tzaros.

Galada Tamboore GrasslandsWe celebrated National Threatened Species Day 2020 on 6 September, with 58 participants tuning into a webinar: At home in Whittlesea’s Grasslands.
Michael Longmore, manager of MCMC’s Ecological Restoration Program, and Josh Cox, the Director of Reptile Encounters gave us a virtual tour of Galada Tamboore and some close insights into creatures of the Victorian Volcanic Plain.

A recording of the presentation is now available, full of information about the plants of Galada Tamboore and some terrific creatures including a jumpy Growling Grass Frog. 

The webinar was organised by Merri Creek Management Committee, with funds from the City of Whittlesea and the Commonwealth Government's Communities Environment Program.

Powerful Owl familyOn Sunday 20 September, Merri Creek Management Committee held a webinar about our urban relationships with magnificent Powerful Owls. 
Urban Ecologist and PhD Candidate, Nick Bradsworth (Deakin University), and Senior Biodiversity Officer, Craig Lupton (City of Yarra), shared their experience of the secret lives of Powerful Owls (Ninox strenua) in inner Melbourne.

A recording of the presentation is now available, so you can see how we can affect the long-term home for Powerful Owls, even in our own backyards.

This webinar was funded by the City of Yarra. Photo: © David Diehm. Source: https://birdlife.org.au/projects/urban-birds/powerful-owl-project-pow

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

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.

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.

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).

Photo: Western Golden-tip, Goodia medicaginea

flooding from trainline southwest 15 09 16

Photo above: Herne Swamp after heavy rain, Mt Fraser in background. Sept 2016.

Herne Swamp is a hidden gem on the upper Merri Creek awaiting the opportunity to be brought 'back to life'.  Lying to the south and east of the town of Wallan it has 'all the ingredients required for a spectacular restoration project'. This is the central point made in an inspiring discussion paper from the Nature Glenelg Trust -  Restoration Vision for the Wallan Wallan wetlands, including Herne Swamp, as the centrepiece of the Wallan Wallan Regional Park. The Nature Glenelg Trust are experts in wetland restoration and were invited by local community members to inspect Herne Swamp in 2018. 

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.

Merri Events Calendar