MCMC has produced a new leaflet on responsible dog ownership as part of a bushland restoration project based in Preston and Thornbury - funded by Melbourne Water Community Grants. The leaflet outlines how dogs can be managed along the Merri Creek in ways that support local wildlife and ensure that volunteers and park workers can avoid the ‘yuk’ factor.

The leaflet describes ways that we can help maintain a harmonious environment in the Merri Creek Parklands while they're used by increasing numbers of wildlife, people, and pooches.

Responsible dog walkers know it is important to clean up after dogs. This is important, even in bushy areas, for the enjoyment of other park users and the well-being of our park workers and volunteers, who risk unwelcome contact with dog poo while handweeding bushland. Yuk! 

All of the Merri Shared Trail is a ‘dogs-on-lead’ area - for the safety and enjoyment of everyone, including our dogs. Dedicated off-lead areas are marked by signs. 

The Merri Creek has always been a significant corridor for wildlife movement.  This is even more important now it is surrounded by houses and factories. Echidnas, lizards, snakes and ground-nesting birds have all been found along the urban reaches of Merri Creek. Even platypus and wallabies are returning! Wildlife cannot distinguish between a friendly dog and one that is hunting. Keeping dogs on-lead ensures wildlife can find refuge along the Merri Creek.
Informal dog tracks, or ‘runs’, through bushland can hinder revegetation, destroy habitat and cause erosion. One dog has a tiny effect but, repeated dozens of times each day, the impact is severe. 

As a considerate dog owner, what can you do?
•    Maintain a ‘no droppings left behind’ habit
•    Keep dogs on a lead whenever on the shared trail
•    Keep off-lead play to designated areas
•    Leave the wild bits of the creek to the wildlife

Download the leaflet.