Friends of the Merri Creek

April News Letter

Friends Committee Activities

During 1996, Friends Committee members have been involved in a number of activities, including;
  • Investigating the erosion along Edgars Creek, south of the Kodak factory:
  • Visiting other sites of erosion stabilisation works, as recommended by Melbourne Water;
  • Discussing the proposed works on Edgars Creek and deciding on a policy;
  • Attending meetings of the MCMC and two sub-committees, as Friends representitives;
  • Co-ordinating and writing material for the Friends Newsletter, then producing and distributing it;
  • Organising and attending litter clean-ups, the bus tour and the bicycle tour;
  • Organising a radio chat show on 3CR about the Merri Creek native grasslands;
  • Following up on the campaign to seek compensation from PowerNet;
  • Preparing a leaflet on the Friends campaigns to stop the F2 Freeway, save the grasslands and restore the gorge;
  • Arranging for the Friends to have a Home Page on the Internet;
  • Discussing the Friends input into the consultation on the Northern Waterways Review;
  • Continuing meeting every two months and getting through long agendas each time;
  • Organising, through MCMC, for a leaflet to be printed about the Friends, which members will receive with their membership renewals.

    Perhaps you might consider joining this highly active Committee, due for re-election at the 1997 Annual General Meeting, or you can help out by joining one of the many sub-committees. So please let the Committee know if you wish to nominate any member by contacting Max Sargent (Membership Secretary) on 9480 5492

    The 1997 Friends Annual General Meeting will be held at 2pm Sunday February 9 1997 at the CERES Education Centre-Lee St Brunswick East
    Hope to meet you there.

    Grasslands get Heritage Listing

    The Australian Heritage Commission has decided to list the Craigieburn to Cooper Street Grasslands on the Register of the National Estate.
    This fantastic news is a great start for the new year!
    The Heritage listing is not only a signifiacant step towards increasing the awareness about native grasslands, but it provides a major argument against Federal funding for the Hume Freeway. And you heard it first right here: the Heritage Commission probably won't publicly announce the listing until it actually occurs in May
    This is part of the Commission's Statement of Significance:
    "The Craigieburn to Cooper Street grasslands are some of the best remaining examples of the grasslands which covered much of the western basalt plains before European settlement. Together they represent one of the largest remaining areas of plains grassland in Victoria, a community which is considered to be endangered in Victoria and contains patches of grassy wtlands, a severely depleted community. The riparain scrub growing along the Merri Creek corridor south from Craigieburn is one of the few intact examples of this vegetation remaining on basalt in the State"
    The grasslands were nominated by the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) with the full support of the Friends. James Ross, Grasslands Project Officer at the VNPA< put in an incredible amount of work surveying the area, indentifying plant species and liasing with the Heritage Commission. As James is leaving VNPA shortly, this will be a great farewell present for him. James has been a terrific asset to the Friends and we thank him very much for all his work on grasslands and help over the years. We wish him the best of luck wherever he goes.
    Hopefully, the next news that we hear from the Heritage Commission will be the announcement of their decision to also list the "Merri Merri" Gorge area (around Barry Road Craigieburn), which was nominated in April 1993 by Ann McGregor and Judy Bush on behalf of the Friends. Currently, this is due to be considered by the Commission in April.

    Friends News Desk

    Environmental Groups and Activities

    Also Friends of the Merri Creek

    27 March 98 Talk about Galada Tamboore 7.30 pm Campbellfield Community Centre
    Sunday 5 April 98 9.30am Rubbish clean up St Georges Rd
    Sunday 26 April 98 10.00am Planting Ramsden St Clifton Hill
    Sunday 3 May 10.00am Litter pickup. Location to be announced.
    Sunday 24 May 10.00am PlantingMoomba Park Fawkner
    Sunday 14 June Tour and tak Galada Tamboore
    Sunday 12 July Planting at Spanish Festival Brex Crt Reservoir
    For information contact Merri Creek Management Committee on (03) 9380 8199.

    Cootamundra Walk

    Cootamundra Walk is a linear park extending from Williams Rd to Goodwin St Blackburn North. The western section is one of the last remnants of bushland in Blackburn North, while the eastern section is more conventional parkland.

    Cootamundra Walk Advisory Committee was first endorsed by Nunawading Council in 1978. We now work under the city of Whitehorse Council. As a Committee we meet five or six times a year although we meet on various activity days with our wider circle of 'Friends'- those wonderful folk who don hats, gloves and boots to come out and plant, weed or spread mulch.
    Similar Committees and 'Friends' groups work in Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Wandinong Sanctuary, Creeklands, Wurunjeri Walk, Bellbird Dell, R.E Gray Reserve, Simpsons Park-Somers Trail, Antonio Park and Campbell's Croft.
    Box Hill Green Link has established an urban forest along the Koonung Valley and Bushy Creek Reserve, Box Hill, in the last few years.
    With Council amalgamations and the introduction of contract tendering things are changing. Council is certainly committed to the preservation and enhancement of our bushland parks. In May, Parks Wide, the in-house tema, won the contract to maintain all parks and reserves in the City of Whitehorse. A small crew will now be working on an occasional basis in the park. In addition 'Save the Bush' working out of the National Trust, will be assisting with the retention of of the remnant bush. Bushland parks need an enormous amount of 'hands on' care and while there will never be enough, this is more than we have had in the past. It is vital that we, as a community, also assist from time to time. If you feel you have a little time to spare, would like to learn more about our local plants and enjoy being out in the open air, please contact the Council or a member of the Committee.

    Green Task Force
    For the past three or four years we have enjoyed having groups of young people from Greening Australia come to work in the park. These programs were established to facilitate community restoration projects and to provide training to increase skills in environmental activities. The success in delivering these programs has been achieved through the strong commitment to providing quality services coupled with a commitment to providing practical skills for the unemployed. Through these activities Task Force has planted 170,00 indigenous plants and completed numerous projects involving re-vegetation, remnant protection, vegetation assessment, construction of boardwalks, fences, viewing platforms and nursery facilities in the Melbourne area.
    Prior to the August Federal Budget there was an 80% cut in funding for these programs. We are now awaiting clarification of the implications this will have. What we do know is that we have not had the Task Force help in Cootamundra Walk this year

    Mitcham Lions Project
    On a happier note, the Mitcham Lions have 'adopted' an area near Bell St which has been cleaned up and mulched. Forks and wheelbarrows recently came out in force when about 40 metres of mulch was spread in one afternooon. Planting of small grasses and wildflowers will commence in May.

    Baha'i Community
    Another special group of 'Friends' who helped put about 500 plants into the ground during the Spring Planting Festival in September are the Baha'i community. Making a home ih a new country is not always easy. By coming along to planting days these families are not only helping make our park a special place for all, but showing their commitment to the community in a very practical way.

    Clean Up Australia in Cootamundra Walk
    Held in March, Mitcham Lions joined forces with the Blackburn North Lions to participate in this Australia wide activity. Thanks!

    Would you like to be a Cootamundra Walk Friend?
    Join our Committee. You don't have to know a lot about vegetation. We will help you learn.
    Come and help care for the park. Friends have fun working together.
    Pick up a little rubbish and take it home to either re-cycle or put in your bin.
    Report any untoward behaviour to the Council or the Committee.
    Report any pollution in the creek or any other matter that needs attention. Contact the Committee or Melbourne Water (9874 2122).
    Grow a few indigenous (local ) plants in your garden. NIPP (Nunawading Indigenous Plant Project), a local community group, is based at the Horticultural Centre, Jolimont Rd Forest Hill: open every Friday morning and the fourth Sunday of every month.
    Detroy plants dangerous to our environment eg Ivy, Wandering Jew, Blackberry etc.
    Please do not throw any garden waste of any kind into the park.
    Have a picnic in the park. Watch the birds and look at the plants.
    Much has been done and much is planned. We would welcome your help and comments.

    Please contact the Council on 9262 6333 or
    Cootamundra Walk Advisory Committee on 9878 5998.

    Loughies Bushland Bushcare Group

    Fun, fitness and friendship! These are the benfits for the people joining in the Bushcare group which is well underway in Kubis Dve Ringwood North. The group is for anyone who likes the outdoors and who is happy to put a little time and effort into caring for the local bushland. Kubis Drive boasts a particularly fine example of suburban bush.
    Everyone in the group learns a little more each time about both native and invasive plants. At the same time they enjoy the action in fresh air and the social atmosphere. The group benefits from the guidance of Ringwood's Bush Worker, Brad Curtis.
    The support of everyone is appreciated; this support is valuable communal input into the future well-being of Ringwood's bushland.
    The group meets at 9.30 am the first Saturday of each month on the grassland beside Kubis Drive opposite Werac Drive turn-off.
    For information phone 9870 8126

    Permaculture Melbourne

    Working Bees:
    First Sunday of each month at CERES Brunswick phone 9380 4527
    Second Saturday of each month Food Forest Brunswick West phone 9383 5785

    Food Not Bombs

    Melbourne Chapter

    Cook ups Sunday for St Kilda 7.30
    Monday City Square 7.30
    Tuesday Collingwood 8.00
    Food run Tuesday all day

    Goongerah Environment Centre

    East Gippsland Forest Campaign. News and pictures about the campaign to prevent logging in the old growth areas.
    Victoria 3888
    (03) 5154 0156

    Introduction to Permaculture Courses:

    26-27 October Sunspace Emerald phone ............9596 8488
    9 November Catholic University Oakleigh phone ...9568 5914
    16 November Catholic University Oakleigh phone ...9568 5914
    16-17 November Williamstown phone ................9399 9707
    23-24 November Sunspace Emerald phone ............9596 8488
    23-24 November Williamstown phone ................9399 9707
    7 December Catholic University Oakleigh phone ....9568 5914
    14 December Catholic University Oakleigh phone ...9568 5914
    8-9 December Sunspace Emerald phone .............. 9596 8488


    27 October Spring Animal Festival
    23 November Kingfisher Festival
    Permaculture Melbourne
    PO Box 2408
    VICTORIA 3101
    or email

    Friends of Braeside Park

    Bushwalks, wetlands, bird watching, bat spotting, tree planting, indigenous garden
    Braeside Park
    Lower Dandenong Rd
    Braeside 3195
    Contact 03 9551 1640

    Field Naturalists Club of Victoria

    1 Gardenia St Blackburn 3130
    1 Oct Brush-tailed Rock Wallabies Talk at meeting room
    12 Oct Stagwatch and Possum search Central Highlands
    18 Oct Survey at Sugarloaf Reservoir
    20 Oct Carnivorous plants Cranbourne
    23 Oct Eat African Geology talk Club Rooms
    2 Nov Botany and Fauna Survey Grampians
    10 Nov Wildflowers Heathcote
    16 Nov Stagwatch Central Highlands
    For details of activities phone (03) 9877 9860

    Tree Planting

    3rd Sunday of each month Yarra Bend
    14 15 Sept Elwood
    15 Sept Royal Park 11.00 am.

    Park Notes
    The Park Notes, produced by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment provide a wide range of information including the history of the park, what animals and vegetation can be found there, walking tracks and a whole lot more.
    Park Notes covering all National parks around Victoria are available from DRNE's OutDoors Centre at 240 Victoria Pde East Melbourne or you can call (03) 9412 4795
  • Discovering Forests
    The Toolangi Forest Discovery Centre is in Main Rd Toolangi, 80 kilometres north-east from Melbourne via the Melba or Maroondah highways.
    The centre caters fro students af all ages, unlocking some of the secrets of our forests. It's also a fantastic location for families and bushwalkers with a mix of short and long walks, including the recently completed Forest Sculpture Walk featuring innovative works by acclaimed international artists.
    Centre staff will provide you with information to ensure you make the most of your visit to Toolangi State Forest.
    For further information ring (03) 5962 9314

  • The Cobberas Need Friends
    Much of the Cobberas area, part of the Alpine National Park in northern East Gippsland, is declared wilderness- with bushwalkers considering it one of the most scenic and challenging parts of the state.
    People are now sought to join forces in forming a Friends of the Cobberas group to provide support and foster public awareness of the region.
    Anyone interested should contact Park Ranger Richard Laurie at the Buchan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Office (03) 5155 9264
    Information Victoria 356 Collins St Melbourne phone (03)9651 4100 toll free 1800 13 6762 Fax (03) 9651 4111

  • Go Vegan
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

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