Merri Creek Management Committee

St Albans Grassland burnAfter an action-packed couple of months, our busiest burning season yet is at an end.  

This autumn we conducted 14 ecological burns in grassland vegetation. Eight of these were at Merri sites and 6 at other locations across greater Melbourne, including a few sites that haven’t seen a fire for several decades. We’re very excited to see what grassland treasures emerge from these reserves this spring! 

Follow the 'read more' prompt to see MCMC drone footage of the eco-burn at Ngarri-djarrang, a grassland reserve in Reservoir next to Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek.

Water sensor research1A new project is providing much needed information on the ecological health of Merri Creek. Since mid-2020 MCMC has been involved in a collaborative project with RMIT University that has installed sensors in the creek. These measure water temperature and light every hour, and turbidity (water clarity) every two minutes. 

The sensors are located in Merri Creek at two sites, one in Galada Tamboore (Lalor) and the other in North Fitzroy. Data from the sensors is accessed without having to enter the stream.  The turbidity data can be accessed remotely while the light and temperature data can be viewed in near-real time from the creekside via Bluetooth to a personal device. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to access the data.

WW Vols Galgi Ngarrk2 24 3 21We are delighted that face-to-face community events are back after the long, pandemic-induced pause. There are a number of ways you can keep up to date about upcoming community activities.

  • subscribe to receive our events emails;
  • check out our calendar, which  includes other groups' Merri events as well as our own;
  • join the Friends of Merri Creek's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who meet on site once a month;
  • follow the Friends of Merri Creek Facebook page.

During lock-down we ran a number of webinars; you can still view these via our digital resources page

(Photo: Wednesday Volunteers removing Gorse at Galgi Ngarrk on 24 March.)

People on World Wetlands Day walkMCMC recently led two walks along Merri Creek looking for small birds, microbats and frogs. The first was on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, at  Merri Park Northcote, and the second was in late March at Moomba Park, Fawkner. Frogs were heard calling, many birds were spotted and some microbats recorded.

At the Fawkner event participants looked for places to install nest boxes, while at the Merri Park  some of the 60 nestboxes that were installed in 2019 & 2020 were checked for occupation. A camera connected to a long pole was used to look inside nestboxes without having to climb trees and with minimal disturbance to any creatures inisde the boxes. At both locations a small Echo meter device assisted identification by picking up the microbats' calls, which are inaudible to humans.

Katherine child on litter clean upDuring the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, MCMC's expertise and knowledge was deployed to help in the supervision and training of three Litter Data Officers employed by Moreland Council. The role of these Litter Officers was to examine the state of litter and its sources across the municipality. 

Litter audits were conducted around several different sites including the Merri, Moonee Ponds and Westbreen Creeks, and in a variety of built-up site types. The results provide information that can help design education programs on source reduction and on locations for infrastructure, such as litter traps. 

NGV grassesMCMC is proud to have played a part in the creation of an indigenous grassland at the National Gallery of Victoria. The garden, which formed part of the In Absence installation, showcases an expanse of Kangaroo Grass, Murnong and Poa behind the main NGV (International) building. 

We provided specialist advice to Melbourne architecture studio Edition Office on cultural and sustainability matters and detailed technical information, on site preparation and a plant list.

Our experience of delivering the Learning Grounds program formed the basis for much of our adviceLearning Grounds assists schools and community groups to develop indigenous gardens. We could also help your school or group to establish an indigenous garden - just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PardaloteGenerous donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund are helping with the second year of the Merri Creek Nest Box Pilot Project.

60 artificial hollows were installed in Merri Park south of Arthurton Rd, Northcote. These aim to create habitat for smaller hollow-nesting arboreal species such as microbats and small birds (like pardalotes), and thus increase biodiversity along Merri Creek. The report of the first year is here.

Now we want to set up a Nest Box Monitoring Group. Volunteer monitoring of the nest boxes will help us find out which bird and bat species are using the artificial hollows; what type of hollows they prefer; and what pests we need to manage for.

See Merri Creek Management Committee's 2019-20 Flora and Fauna Report, with 94 fauna sightings, including rarely seen birds, Brush Cuckoo, Southern Boobook Owl and Pink Robin, as well as several rare and threatened flora species.

Hanna Swamp aerial mapMCMC is delighted that the October 2020 Planning Panel Panel Report for the Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) has recognised the importance of Hanna Swamp. Hanna Swamp straddles two large areas proposed for urban development (PSPs). It is part of the Strathaird/Taylors Creek system, a north-west tributary of Merri Creek near Wallan. 

Although the future of Hanna Swamp as a restored wetland is not secured, support from the Panel is a helpful step forward to realising this vision. This reasoning is explored in more detail in a recent Nature Glenelg Trust blog.

A crucial factor in gaining the Panel's support for Hanna Swamp was a presentation made by Mark Bachmann of the Nature Glenelg Trust on behalf of Friends of Merri Creek.  The Friends also successfully argued that biodiversity and regional park planning should be acknowledged in the PSP. 

Nature Play kid runningMCMC had to swiftly adapt the first year of a three year grant from Hume City Council for the A Little Nature Play project because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In consultation with early years educators, we moved delivery on-line. In October, Hume’s early years educators came together with other educators to talk over the experience of listening to children and exploring local 'nature play' areas. 

This conversation was documented in a webinar Stepping out: Leadership beyond the kindergarten settingNew plans to get out and about locally were supported, and recognition given to the importance of communicating with families about the value for children of time spent beyond the kindergarten setting. 

In response to the webinar, early years educators from four centres in Hume have come forward to enjoy support from the project.  Next year we will work with centres in Broadmeadows, Craigieburn, Coolaroo and Roxborough Park to get educators and kids out into nearby natural areas.

Merri Events Calendar