Merri Creek park Fawkner…an important community & environmental asset that must not be lost

By: Fawkner Residents Association
MELBOURNE, Australia - April 23, 2018 - PRLog -- The recent VicRoads announcement that the state government owned parkland borded by the Merri Creek, Merri Creek Trail, Leonard and McBryde Streets Fawkner will be sold has alarmed the iconic waterway's environmental protection group Friends of Merri Creek (FoMC) and the community-based Fawkner Residents Association (FRA).

FoMC's Ann McGregor said the environmental importance of this parkland cannot be underestimated.  "This land has a remnant of the Victorian Volcanic Plains Grassland community that once extended from the Melbourne region westwards almost to the South Australian border.

"This ecological community is now listed as critically endangered under Federal legislation (the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act) and is also listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, because it has been largely cleared for agriculture.

"Less than 5% remains, with less than 1% in good condition!  The Victorian Volcanic Plain is one of Australia's national biodiversity hotspots, but its ecological communities are poorly protected in conservation reserves".

Kangaroo Grass is a characteristic species of Victoria Volcanic Plains Grassland and grows on Fawkner's Leonard Street land that is now in danger of being lost to development.

Concerned by the prospects of the parkland's loss, FoMC's Ann McGregor, Merri Creek Management Committee's Tony Faithfull and FRA representatives Eddie Botha and Joe Perri met at the site last week to discuss the matter and how to work in partnership with Moreland City Council to save the parkland for future generations to enjoy.

Fawkner resident and internationally renowned artist and landscape architect Eddie Botha has offered to produce a vision for the parkland that will maximize the long-term environmental and community benefits.

In addition, the vision will show how best to restore some of the grassland species and improve the ecological quality of the remnant at Leonard Street, in conjunction with conservation management of the adjacent Emma Street Grasslands.

Moreland Council is inviting community feedback, and residents throughout the municipality can voice their concerns – details follow below.

The onsite visit concluded with a meeting in nearby Bonwick Street where it was agreed that to highlight the environmental importance of the Leonard Street parkland's flora and fauna, a Family Friendly Nature Safari will be held before the closing date for Moreland Council's community feedback.

The date/time of the Family Friendly Nature Safari is 10am Saturday May 5 and will encompass a leisurely walk through the area and surrounds to provide an insight into the Kangaroo Grass that grows on the Leonard Street land as well as the birds, insects and attractive spring wildflowers that can be found in native grasslands.

During their site visit Ann, Tony, Eddie and Joe would halt their conversation to admire the area's constant procession of visiting birds and butterflies.  Something the organisers of the Family Friendly Nature Safari are confident will be equally enjoyed by the attendees.

The event will be promoted via social media and to FoMC's, MCMC's and FRA's databases as soon as details for the Nature Safari are confirmed.

HAVE YOUR SAYMoreland Council's community invitation for residents to have their say follows:
- Views can be submitted on line via Council's website, in hard copy or email to

Issued by jointly by:       Friends of Merri Creek &  Fawkner Residents Association

Media enquiries:          Mr. Joe Perri,
T: 0412 112 545

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Tags:Merri Creek Nature, Loss of Parkland, Local Environment Protection
Location:Melbourne - Victoria - Australia
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