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.
As reported last year, VicRoads wants to sell 1.7 ha of open space beside Merri Creek in Fawkner, and did a land swap deal with Moreland Council in 2015 that would have allowed townhouse development with only a narrow open space corridor on the Creek frontage. Since the deal became public last year, there has been strong opposition from Fawkner residents and the wider Moreland and Merri Creek communities. Joe Perri, from Fawkner Residents Association, organised a well-attended walk-through of the site in October. He received many constructive responses to his call for ideas on how the site could be developed as parkland. Landscape architect Eddie Botha has incorporated many of these ideas into a concept plan for the site, which was presented to the Moreland Mayor, Cr John Kavanagh, at a meeting with Friends of Merri Creek and Fawkner Residents Association. We are very pleased that Council has resolved to make an offer to the State Government to purchase the site for much-needed parkland, and we are working with Council to encourage the Government to accept the offer.
In case you didn’t notice, in 2017 FoMC didn’t hold our normal Golden Sun Moth Survey or Kangaroo Grass Seed Harvest. This is because there was no funding for a GSM Survey and we’ve basically achieved the aims of the original surveys; while the presence of South African Weed Orchids at Ngarri-djarrang meant the Kangaroo Grass Seed Harvest couldn’t continue there. It has also become safer, cheaper and more efficient, to purchase the seed from a commercial harvester, as these businesses have developed as reliable sources of seed.
The Merri and Edgars Creek Confluence Area Restoration Group’s Murnong Gathering on 11 November 2017 was bigger than the event in 2016, which we thought was pretty big then! With easily 200 people attending, perhaps they’re building up to an even bigger tenth event in 2018. Once again the day included, a warm Wurundjeri Welcome to Country from Aunty Di Kerr, fabulous dancing from the Djirri Djirri dancers (joined once again by many in the audience – as in the photo), fun weaving, and of course the harvest and cook-up of the endangered Murnong, along with other bush tucker. However, this time there was even a mobile compost toilet on site! Thanks to Moreland Council for funding and to MCMC for providing marquees, equipment and assistance for the BBQ.