Merri Creek Management Committee

Clean up with Elk groupDuring March 2022, MCMC coordinated a community litter creek clean-up program that removed thousands of pieces of litter and almost 300 kgs in weight from the Merri, Edgars and Moonee Ponds Creeks. This included: 18 staff from the Darebin fashion design business, Elk (photo); almost 40 cubs and adults from the 4th Brunswick Cubs; Glenroy residents, Flower and Vedia, running local clean-up days; 15 people joining Friends of Merri Creek's monthly litter clean-up; 20 Scouts and Venturers from Clifton Hill Scout Group; 10 staff members from the engineering firm, GHD; and 10 keen volunteers from Whittlesea Environment Action Youth Group.

These group’s efforts have been documented on the Litterwatch Vic data portal, enabling the main pollution hot spots to be tracked and help reduce litter at its source.

We can support you to run your own litter clean-up event - contact the Rapid Response to Litter Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Further information on running a successful litter clean-up event is available on the Friends of Merri Creek website.

Proudly funded by the Cities of Darebin, Moreland, Whittlesea and Yarra.

Striped Legless LizardOver spring/summer, MCMC's Ecological Restoration Team conducted targeted surveys for Striped Legless Lizard (Delmar impar) at multiple sites in the Western Grassland Reserve for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. After many long days flipping tiles, the team were delighted to report multiple Striped Legless Lizard sightings, including finding three of the rare lizards under the one tile!

Burn at Ngarri djarrangWe recently finished our 2022 burn program - the biggest ever! Eleven ecological burns were conducted at a range of sites across greater Melbourne. MCMC worked with Darebin City Council to burn Ngarri-djarrang grassland in Reservoir and undertoook burns at a number of Merri grassland sites in Fawkner.  We also conducted burns at Braybrook Grassland, under contract for the Department of Transport, and at rail corridor sites for Metro Trains Melbourne. In order to successfully carry out our burn program, all our Ecological Restoration Team members completed ‘Assist with prescribed burn’ training in April, including six new team members who recently joined us.

Galada TambooreGalada Gorge specky RR (meaning “Stream waterhole”) is one of the most spectacular sites along Merri Creek and is a place of great significance to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people. Galada Tamboore supports critically endangered Native Grassland and provides refuge to at least eight threatened species of flora and fauna. This Native Grassland is the focus of our project.

Our Grasslands of Galada Tamboore project will provide an array of activities to bring the area's wonders to a wider audience. Volunteers will have opportunities to meaningfully connect with the site and its cultural, ecological and geological values. We want to grow a volunteer group for the area, build up skills and knowledge, grow threatened plants, harvest and sow their seed, and free the grassland from noxious weeds.

Our first well-attended event was held on 12 March and we have nine more coming up. 

Salli doing DNA sampling on Moonee Ponds Creek StrathmoreIn spring 2021, MCMC helped 18 volunteers collect water samples from 11 sites on the Yarra River, Merri and Moonee Ponds Creeks in the first ever Citizen Science Great Australian Platypus Search.

The Great Australian Platypus Search trains volunteers to collect samples from waterways safely and accurately so that platypus presence within the last 24-48 hours can be detected. A large syringe and filters are used to capture DNA, samples are taken directly from a waterway and shipped to the EnviroDNA laboratory for analysis. Volunteers have submitted samples from sites all over Victoria. Waterwatch turbidity sampling was also completed and added to the Waterwatch Victoria data portal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         MCMC Waterwatch was invited to deliver a one day Waterwatch workshop to the Narrap Team in early December 2021. The Narrap Team (Narrap means Country in Woi Wurrung) will be monitoring the outcomes of environmental water received in the past two years into billabongs and wetlands on the floodplain of the middle Birrarung (Yarra River), particularly the Bolin Bolin and Banyule Billabong. Their data will be shared with stakeholders as well as uploaded onto the Waterwatch data portal.

Nature StewardsAfter coming out of lockdown in November 2021, MCMC had the chance to meet up with a fun bunch of nature stewards. Nature Stewards is an interactive and engaging 10 week outdoor learning program for anyone aged over 18 who wants to learn more about their local environment and to help protect and enhance it.

The enthusiastic Nature Stewards completed Waterwatch water testing, water bug collection and identification and assessment of a wetland, amongst the gorgeous gums at Le Page Homestead, Plenty Gorge Parklands.  Thanks to the City of Whittlesea for funding this great program.

flooding from trainline southwest 15 09 16We welcome the proposal to retain the southern part of Burrung Buluk (former Hanna Swamp) in the revised Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan. The swamp, which is one of the Wallan Wallan wetlands in the upper Merri catchment, was recently given the Woi-wurrung name: Burrung Buluk. 

Earlier proposals for the Beveridge North West Precinct showed the swamp covered by urban development. After a highly effective presentation by Mark Bachmann of Nature Glenelg Trust, on behalf of Friends of Merri Creek, the Planning Panel Report to the Minister recommended the swamp be protected.  

The next challenge will to be to protect the northern part of Burrung Buluk which falls within a different precint, the Wallan South PSP. Bizarrely, this natural feature, falls across two different precincts and its fate as a single, integrated entity rests on two separate decsion-making processes.

If you're interested in wetland restoration 'Wetland Restoration 101' - Reading the landscape with Nature Glenelg Trust gives an excellent introduction to the approach taken by the NGT. 

Photo shows Herne Swamp, the largest of the Wallan Wallan wetlands, after heavy rain in Sept. 2016, with the volcanic cone of Mt Fraser in background.

Plant HeroesMicroseris scapigera video pic is a project that showcases stories of people saving plant species from around Australia. One of its stories features Murnong Microseris scapigera and the years of work by MCMC and Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, to conserve this species. It shows that the conservation work was less to do with the plant and more about the special relationship with people, in this place.

The creators of the story hope it can help to acknowledge the need to place cultural knowledge as core to conservation planning and developing 'right-way' projects.
See the video: Murnong; saving Yam Daisy on Melbourne's Merri Creek, or listen to more detail on the podcast.

A two page article about MCMC's involvement with Moreland Primary School's recent Creekulum program featured in the Autumn 2021 edition of the Australasian Parks and Leisure journal. The article highlights public parks as rich places for school children’s outdoor learning, using Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) - innovatively grounded in Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung cultural perspectives - and leaving no footprint. You can see the article, entitled Parking the school: Learning about Country from the ground up, here. The project evaluation report for Creekulum is here.