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Environmental group ‘bringing back the bush’ to Mullum Mullum Creek

7 August 2017


While they may be small in number, the hardworking efforts of volunteers from the Mullum Mullum Creek Bushcare Group are imprinted on the local landscape.

Once a month, this dedicated group of 20 or so members help restore and preserve native vegetation along the Mullum Mullum Creek corridor.

Formed in 2003, original bushcare group volunteers Bill and Joy can still be seen eagerly planting and weeding their way along the section of creek, between Oliver Street and Oban Road, Ringwood.

With the support of Council, the group runs regular working bees that are open to anyone who wants to get involved and do something practical for their environment, while improving the native fauna habitat.

MMCBG coordinator and president Alan Strachan encouraged anyone who loved being outdoors, was physically able and who could spare a few hours each month, to come along to a working bee.

“We encourage anyone, no matter how old you are, to get out into the fresh air and join in our working bees. There is no commitment - come when you can and stay as long as you can,” he said.

Each working bee ends with a well-deserved morning tea for all the volunteers.

Mr Strachan said caring for the bush gave volunteers a sense of purpose by learning new skills, developing friendships, connecting with nature and their community.

Volunteers recently planted around 200 natives, including Lomandra, Casuarina and several species of eucalypt, all of which are provided by Council and sourced from local nursery, CRISP (Community of Ringwood Indigenous Species Plant Nursery).

CRISP is run by volunteers, many of whom are MMCBG members, who grow native plants that are reintroduced into local parks and reserves. These indigenous plantings help to stabilise the Mullum Mullum Creek bank, discourage weeds and encourage biodiversity.

The MMCBG also works in collaboration with Council’s Bushland Team, which assists with weed control, vegetation collection and providing the group with mulch, a natural weed barrier.

While weed control takes up a fair chunk of the group’s workload, it’s an important part of what they do to prevent environmental weeds eliminating the remnant bushland vegetation.

Maroondah Councillor Mike Symon said Mullum Mullum Creek Bushcare Group volunteers were essential to the continued health of the biodiversity of Mullum Mullum Creek and its surrounding habitat.

“We’re privileged to have so many dedicated volunteers working to protect and maintain one of the municipality’s oldest and significant wildlife corridors,” Cr Symon said.

“The removal of weeds and regenerating and revegetating depleted areas over the past decade has made a visible difference to the reserve and we trust it will greatly enhance the quality of habitat for native species in the future,” he said.

The Mullum Mullum Creek flows for 22 kilometres and is one of Maroondah’s largest waterways. It is a significant wildlife corridor and tributary to the Yarra River, including home to the native platypus regularly sighted downstream.

Mullum Mullum Creek is also one of the only watercourses in metropolitan Melbourne that is surrounded by native and regenerated bushland for almost its entire length.

“I encourage residents to get along to a working bee to learn some new skills, experience some of the Mullum Mullum Creek’s stunning natural surrounds and become a part of a fantastic social community involved in bush care,” Cr Symon said.

The Mullum Mullum Creek Bushcare Group meets every third Sunday of the month. Bring your gardening gloves and hand trowel, if you have one. No experience is required and training is provided, along with morning tea.

For more details, contact Alan Strachan on 9876 1319 or visit the group’s Facebook page.

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