MERRIMAN CREEK LANDCARE GROUP
We would love your involvement in our group! Melissa Ainsworth is our group contact officer and she can be contacted on 51468 328.
Merriman Creek Landcare Group originated from the Victorian Farmers’ & Graziers’ Association, which formerly had a Stradbroke branch. In 1985, the Group evolved into the Stradbroke-Woodside Farm Trees Group which comprised of the east riding of the former Rosedale Shire and the east riding of the former Alberton Shire, with the Tarra River as the west boundary.
The objectives of the group were to address the issue of tree decline, which was outlined in a position paper entitled “Strategy to Reverse Tree Decline in Victoria” by the Victorian Garden State Committee.
In 1997, the Farm Trees Group wound up and became part of the Landcare movement we know today. Merriman Creek is one of the longest serving Landcare groups in Victoria, with several of our members the original founders of the former groups.
Under the auspices of the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network, Merriman Creek Landcare Group has worked with partners such as the Wellington Shire, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Southern Rural Water, Gippsland Water, G J Gardner Homes and the Seaspray Primary school in delivering local weed control, tree planting and water quality projects.
Our Landcare group takes in the Stradbroke–Seaspray areas with the jewel of our district being Merriman Creek. The Merriman Creek eco system is significant in terms of its environmental, economic and social values. The Creek is an important water source for agriculture and the township of Seaspray and the coastal reaches are important for both recreation and tourism. Many threatened species inhabit the Creek system, including Platypus, Powerful Owl, Sea-Eagle, Koala and Lace Monitors, to name just a few.
Countless tree planting projects have been undertaken across the district since the early 80’s. Much of the vegetation across our local landscape today, is because of the efforts of our former members.
More recently our Landcare group has completed numerous projects that involved spraying woody weeds along the length of Merriman Creek, from Stradbroke West to Seaspray. We have been involved with fencing the creek to exclude stock access, to improve water quality and reduce creek bank erosion. These projects also involved planting along the riparian zones and with many of our members neighbouring the creek, weed control and tree planting is an ongoing activity.
Our group also monitors African Lovegrass and Serrated Tussock weed infestations within the district, to ensure these sites are treated effectively and not slashed disbursing seed.
Several of our members were part of the former Gippsland Plains Drought Tolerant Pastures Project, which involved several years of trialling different perennial pasture species, as well as fertilisers and grazing methods.
We have held community field days and workshops regarding; drone usage for agricultural purposes, weed identification and control, soil health, pest animal control and we help each other out with our own personal tree planting projects.
Many of our members are involved with trapping Indian Myna bird populations, which threaten our native birds and their habitat.
Rabbit control is an ongoing issue and our group has been involved with control programs that also included the release of the K5 virus released in Seaspray.
Aside from conducting projects and workshops/field days, our group generally meets 3 - 4 times per year.