Friends of Merri Creek
Successful Grant Applications 2015
We have kicked off 2015 by receiving the following grants, thanks to MCMC’s Conservation Program Manager, Katrina Roberg:
$49,810.15 from Communities For Nature for the project: The Need for Seed, to enhance remnant vegetation along the Merri Creek and establish genetically selected plantings of three depleted plants to act as ‘seed orchards.’
$20,000 from Melbourne Water River Health Incentives program for the project: Koonda lat is where it’s at, to control weeds, restore habitat and engage the new residents of nearby apartments near the Koonda Lat bridge on the shared path in Northcote. Plus a $1,000 Melbourne Water Group Support Grant for purchase of loppers, barbecue, hand mattocks, and admin support.
$3,000 from Parks Victoria, through their Volunteer Group Long Service Award, for the project: Celebrating Nature in our Native Grasslands - Cooper St Grassland, for woody weed control, a bird talk, activity day, reptile display and barbecue.
Protecting the Upper Merri
Recently, FoMC has made three submissions to protect biodiversity from large scale development occurring in the upper Merri: to the Wallan Structure Plan; to the Craigieburn North Employment Area Precinct Structure Plan; and to the English Street Precinct Structure Plan and draft Amendment C183 to the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. Thank you to Yasmin Kelsall and Ann McGregor for putting these submissions together.
Goodbye to FoMC office
We have now left the office at Brunswick Town Hall after at least 14 years, marking the end of a significant era for the group. Read More
$1000 Donation
We received this generous donation from The Grove Wholistic Centre for Spirituality Inc., which has ceased operating and distributed its remaining assets to organisations “that have purposes or values closely connected to those of The Grove.” Read More
Merri Trail land for sale

The Education Department intends to sell the former Lakeside Secondary College site in Reservoir, which includes the Merri Trail.

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Poetry on the Merri
Radio National on 7 June 2014 broadcast the program Poetica Spirit of Place: Genii Loci, featuring John Anderson and his love of the Merri Creek and Red Gum forests. You can hear it at:
Gnawing away at Beavers Rd Northcote
FoMC has been in discussion with Darebin City Council about the ownership and management of the land alongside Merri Creek between Beavers and Arthurton Roads Northcote. Currently, the land is privately owned by the businesses fronting the creek and they have failed miserably to look after the steep escarpment, which is ugly and covered with weeds. Not only that, but they can’t even properly maintain the buildings on the rest of the site, with the underpinnings spilling out onto the access road from a holding wall due to missing sleepers that haven’t been replaced for well over a year.
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Darebin Natural Heritage Plan approved
Thanks to those Darebin members who responded to the campaign run by new community group, Wild Darebin, to urge Darebin Council to fund the finalisation of the Natural Heritage Plan ($30,000) in their 2014/15 Budget. This plan was presented as a draft in 2011 and identifies important flora and geological sites in the area, especially on the Merri and Darebin Creeks. The campaign, strongly supported by FoMC and Greens Councillor Trent McCarthy, was successful and Darebin Council approved the funding on 30 June. Now the next step is to ensure that the plan retains its effectiveness and is implemented rigorously once it is adopted.
Brunswick Terminal Station
We were stunned to find out that Moreland Council had issued a permit for the proposed works at the Brunswick Terminal Station. The high level of community concern expressed at a well-attended public meeting had led us to believe that there would be further consultation before approval.
We now have quite a battle on our hands to try and mitigate the effects of concrete retaining walls that are 80m long and 4m high (in places) on the boundary. These walls are a big departure from the original plan, so we’ll definitely try for a more acceptable solution.
Another successful grant
FoMC thanks the Moreland Community Grants Program for $5500 which allows our sub-group MECCARG to continue gathering Murnong at their unique Wurundjeri Cultural Renewal & Community Craft Day on 8 November. (Put this date in your diary now.)
New Honorary Life Members
Congratulations to our newest Honorary Life Members: Irene Baker for coordinating the Streamteam Group for over ten years; and Dean Lombard for his superb layouts of the Friends’ newsletter for over ten years.
Celebrating FoMC’s 25th birthday
In November this year it will be 25 years since the Friends of Merri Creek was formed. We want to hear your ideas about how to celebrate this anniversary: please email your suggestions to before the end of August. Read More
Merri BirdWatch data - scientifically valuable
Our bird surveys since November 2008 have amassed a significant body of data. Susanna Bryceson has analysed the data from 199 surveys as part of her Biological Sciences studies at La Trobe University. The analyses explored bird diversity along the Merri’s rural to inner-urban corridor, relationship to habitat types and to rainfall, and aspects of seasonal migration. Here are some of her interesting findings. Read More
Upper Merri developments
Conservationists trying to protect nature in the upper Merri have been dealt a very poor hand from a deck heavily stacked in favour of developers by the Victorian Government.
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Improving gorge-ous views

Friends of Merri Creek, has received $19,997 from the Melbourne Water River Health Incentives program for restoring native vegetation at the striking Northcote Gorge. This volcanic escarpment on the east bank of Merri Creek north of Heidelberg Rd Northcote, still retains some of its original vegetation. The project: Gorge-ous Views! Restoring the Merri Creek Habitat Corridor, involves controlling serious environmental weeds, then planting trees, shrubs, and dense ground-storey plants. Everyone is invited to the community planting and BBQ on 15 June.

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Entire Merri Creek walked
From Good Friday to4 April, FoMC member and artist Rebecca Mayo walked all the way from the source of Merri Creek to its confluence with the Yarra River. Find out all about herseven day walkon he blog:
Vale Jack Svendsen
Jack Svendsen, whowas a long term volunteer in the FoMC office, died on Friday 19 October 2012, just a few days short of his 83rd birthday. Read More
National Landcare Awards - results

Unfortunately,Friends of Merri Creekdidnt win the National Urban Landcare Award, but we received a Special Commendation, which was equivalent to coming second.Thanks to those who voted for us to win the Peoples Choice Award, but this went to Youngtown Primary School in Tasmania.

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Seeking action on Marran Baba

We have written to the Chief Executive of Parks Victoria, Dr Bill Jackson, asking him to ensure action on Marran Baba (Merri Creek Parklands north of the Western Ring Road) and enclosing a timeline showing a list of delays extending over almost ten years (see the May Merri Growler, p 4-5).

Photo gallery of Merri creek

See photos of Merri Creek by Darron Davies at:

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