Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)
Purchase our unique Merri Christmas greeting cards and help protect the Merri catchment and provide a lasting benefit for the community (five cards for $25, ten for $40). The cards feature the Flame Robin or the Spotted Pardalote, two of the many beautiful native birds that call the Merri Creek home. Their numbers have increased thanks to the ecological restoration carried out by MCMC, Friends of Merri Creek, local Councils, and hundreds of community volunteers. See order form here.
The cards are also available at the MCMC Office in Brunswick East (cash or cheque) and at the CERES Nursery and Grocery store, also in Brunswick East.
A recent evening event looked at intercultural cooperation and being careful together on Wurundjeri Country. Uncle Dave Wandin, from the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation & Cultural Heritage Council, and MCMC’s Special Engagement Programs Coordinator, Angela Foley, were in conversation at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies. Uncle Dave and Angela referred to many places of connection over ten years of projects on Wurundjeri Country and in particular, projects focussed on the confluence of Merri Creek and the Yarra River (Birrarung), for example the Merri-Yarra Biik project. The conversation was facilitated by Prof Libby Porter from RMIT University.
A current Wurundjeri - MCMC partnership project continues the focus on the Merri-Yarra confluence. It is supported by a three year grant from the City of Yarra’s Investing in Community Grants, with the first year close to completion.
It should not come as a surprise that MCMC's Waterwatch Program is focussed on Merri Creek. But did you know we extend beyond the Merri? With assistance from some of our member Councils we support activities and community monitors on nearby waterways such as Darebin Creek and Moonee Ponds Creek.
In late October we ran an event to recruit and train Waterwatch monitors for Darebin Creek. After an introduction to the site, close to Northland Shopping Centre, participants were trained in taking and analysing water samples - from the creek itself and from a drain outfall. One of the enthusiastic participants wrote an inspiring account of the day - see it below.
During the recent Victorian election campaign, the ALP promised to create the new Upper Merri Parklands. This is a welcome recognition of the importance of the upper Merri and the potential for continuous linked parkland along the entire length of Merri Creek. It reflects a 2016 joint initiative of MCMC, Friends of Merri Creek and Wallan Environment Group for the creation of the Greater Wallan-Merri Park, a living landscape for a liveable Melbourne. We look forward to the new Labor government delivering on this promise as prompt action is needed to secure the park.
Labor's commitment also included funding a feasability study for the Wallan Regional Park. This new park, centered on the former Hernes Swamp, is a key part of our vision for the Greater Wallan - Merri Park. It includes the potential to reinstate parts of the swamp, to create an attractive, biodiverse focus for the park.
(Photo: upper Merri Creek in Merriang.)
Volunteers have been hard at work raising rare plants as part of the Friends of Merri Creek’s three-year Secret Seven seeds project, which aims to increase the seed supply of seven rare Merri Creek plant species. Northcote resident Jane Mullett has successfully raised Plains Yam Daisies to the seeding stage. She says "I am getting heaps of seeds off them. I am harvesting between 3-5 puffballs every second day!". The plants were initially grown by VINC.
The key stages in the growth of these plants has been documented by renowned local photographer, David Tatnall. See the superb sequence under 'Read More.'
This project is funded with the support of the Victorian Government. The Friends of Merri Creek have contracted MCMC to help deliver the project.
In early 2017 the Friends of Merri Creek was awarded a Community Grant from Melbourne Water to establish new populations of endangered Matted Flax-lily (Dainella amoena) along Merri Creek in Reservoir. The project was rolled out with signiticant assistance from Merri Creek Management Committee. Five new populations were established to link three nearby fragmented remnant populations of the species and to providea crucial stepping stone for the Matted Flax-lily's native pollinator, the Blue Banded Bee. Fifty-five volunteers helped to plant 1600 indigenous plants, including rare wildflowers, that will help control weeds and provide habitat for local fauna and pollination partners for rare wildflowers.
See the photo story of the completed grant, showing before and after photos - here.
Merri Creek Management Committee recently completed work on the Big River Project in partnership with Collingwood Children’s Farm. This involved a 1km stretch of vegetation along the edge of the Yarra River in Abbotsford, controlling high threat weeds such as Pampas Lily of the Valley and Wandering Tradescantia. With the help of some wonderful volunteers, over one thousand understorey and mid-storey plants were added to the site, providing much needed stabilisation and biodiversity to the river bank. See the before and after photos here. The project was funded by a Melbourne Water Community Grant.
We hope for another successful grant application in 2019, so we can continue this restoration work in partnership with the Collingwood Children's Farm. (Photo: Indigenous understorey of Tussock Grass and Hop Goodenia establishing on the Yarra River bank.)
Even though it’s been raining a lot lately, being out in nature doesn’t need to be a washout. Young families proved this when heavy rain fell at MCMC's most recent Nature Play event at Hall Reserve in Clifton Hill on late November. Parents and children came in their gumboots and raincoats, umbrellas in hand, and had a great time stomping in puddles, checking the high water level in the Merri Creek, spotting Tawny frogmouths and Kookaburras, collecting waterbugs and insects and meeting a local Spotted Marsh Frog.
|20 Jan 2019;|
10:00AM - 11:30AM
Waterwatch new recruits sampling day
|23 Jan 2019;|
05:30PM - 07:00PM
Discovering the wildlife of Edgars Creek
|24 Jan 2019;|
06:30PM - 07:30PM
What frogs live in Yarra?
|30 Jan 2019;|
05:30PM - 07:00PM
Our home, our nearby nature around Edgars Creek in Epping event
|31 Jan 2019;|
06:00PM - 07:30PM
World Wetlands Day Walk and Talk in Darebin
|03 Feb 2019;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Litter Clean Up – Nth Fitzroy - Friends of Merri Creek