Our sub-group, which was known as the Merri and Edgars Creek Confluence Area Restoration Group, or MECCARG for short, has changed its name to Merri Murnong. The new name is much more succinct and more evocative of nature than the former long version mouthful, and much nicer than the former shortened version. Plus it features their iconic rare species which they’ve been celebrating with a festival for ten years this year: the Murnong, or Yam Daisy.
Merri Creek has dramatically changed colour twice; firstly after heavy rain in mid-May and then again in mid-June, just as it was starting to clear up a bit. The change, from its usual darkish hue to a worrying, pale-yellow was much worse than anything we’ve seen before. Both Melbourne Water and MCMC investigated, and the MCMC Manager, Luisa Macmillan, traced the pale yellow colour to Kalkallo Creek which joins the Merri near Donnybrook.
Rural parts of Kalkallo Creek have erosion gullies metres deep and most of the sub-soils across the catchment are highly erodible and sodic (sodium-containing). They rapidly lose their structural integrity when wetted. Unfortunately, these soils underlie new residential and employment areas being developed west of the Hume Highway, north and south of Donnybrook Rd. The major source of the problem is that these soils are exposed during construction and if there are any sediment controls in place, they are failing abysmally. See more here.
Congratulations to Moreland Council, which decided on 13 June to make an offer to the State Government to buy land owned by VicRoads at Leonard St, Fawkner. This land is an integral part of the Merri Creek habitat and parkland corridor but has been declared ‘surplus’ to VicRoads’ needs. If not acquired by Council it could be sold off for residential development. It’s still not a done deal yet, as the State Government may want more than Council offers, and it will take some time for the negotiations to be completed and land to be transferred. See more here.
The $23,242 Community Grant that FoMC received from Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority will enable our Special Weed Orchid Terminators (SWOT) to continue to control the recent explosion of the invasive South African Weed Orchid at Ngarri-djarrang Grassland in Reservoir. We learnt from the events that we held in August, September and October 2017 that we could be more effective by holding events just in October, as that’s when the weeds are easier to see, but are yet to drop their seeds. So join the SWOT team and reserve these Saturdays: 13th, 20th, and 27th October.
As part of the Batman by-election campaign in March, the Federal Shadow Minister for Environment, Tony Burke, announced an ALP election promise of an urban waterways program, including $1 million for Merri and Darebin Creeks. The announcement was made alonside Edgars Creek near Broadhurst Avenue, Reservoir. Shadow Minister Burke went for a stroll along the creek and was very impressed by the birdlife enjoying the revegetated parkland.