The future development of the Darebin Creek Linear Park will be guided by strategies identified in the Darebin Creek Management Plan and a range of Local and State Government Plans. Melbourne Water generally has the most authority over works conducted within the bed and banks whilst Local Governments manage the adjacent reserves. Darebin Creek Management Committee provides advice to ensure a holistic approach for other managers, and to ensure the long term protection and sustainable development for the catchment. Over the past ten years we have undertaken projects such as:
Raising the profile of the Darebin Creek as a significant urban and rural waterway is being achieved through a number of initiatives including this updated web site, improved signage and logos, the production of new brochures and a significant increase in media promotion.
Providing an environmental education program, the Darebin Parklands caters for over 8000 students per year while co-ordination staff work with local schools to promote sustainable practices, plant native gardens and increase litter awareness.
Educating the community and industry about stormwater pollution and the effects of littering.
Developing a range of literature for use by the public including fact sheets on a number of interest areas such as flora, fauna, history, impacts on the creek, and geology.
DAREBIN CREEK SHARED TRAIL
Darebin Creek Management Committee has a major role in the co-ordination of the Darebin Creek Shared Trail which has been funded by VicRoads, Parks Victoria, the Councils of Banyule, Darebin, Yarra and the State Government. Our role is to provide local knowledge and advice as well as providing environmental comments to assist with the construction of the Darebin Creek Shared Trail. Multiple stages have recently been constructed in various sections of the creek including:
- Stage 1 and 2 of the Lower connection to the Main Yarra Trial. This has been a very long and complicated process with the trail being currently constructed to Sparkes Reserve.
- Darebin Road underpass. This section was critical as it allowed for pedestrian traffic to safely cross the busy Darebin Road.
- Tee Street to Bundoora Park. A long section of winding trail now joins the Creek trail with the network inside Bundoora Park.
- Gronn Street to Settlement Road – This important section finally made the connection across the border of Darebin and Whittlesea and created a continuous route from Quarry Hills/Mill Park all the way south to Alphington.
The Darebin Creek Valley continues to be planted with indigenous species to reinstate the original vegetation. Darebin Creek Management Committee works with landholders in the Upper Darebin Catchment to protect remnant Grassy Woodland communities securing government funding. Schools, universities, local community groups and land holders planted 5500 indigenous plants on private land to increase the biodiversity of the Darebin Creek catchment as well as providing new habitat areas to link remnant vegetation. Another 2,500 trees were supplied and DCMC continues to liaise with landholders to improve the biodiversity and land use planning for the upper catchment.
Gross litter traps have been installed throughout the urban catchment through discussions with Melbourne Water and the City of Banyule and Darebin. Darebin Creek Management Committee have installed over 260 Gutter Guards in Banyule and Darebin City Councils in the vicinity of Preston and Heidelberg. The gutter guards are a series of stainless steel bars that are fitted in front of a drain to prevent litter entering the stormwater system from the road. This litter is then collected by Council street sweeping trucks and prevents larger and floating rubbish entering the stormwater system and into the waterway.
In a project similar to the gutter guard installation, DCMC conducted this project in conjunction with Friends of Darebin Creek, Darebin Parklands Association, Environment Protection Authority, and funded through Melbourne Water and Darebin City Council. (see how many organisations waterways have) This project focused on pollution spills into the Darebin Creek and aims to make reporting these incidents easier for the general public. A series of small signs were developed and installed at twenty two locations along the Creek between Lower Heidelberg Road Alphington and McKimmes Road Bundoora at entry points to stormwater drains. These drains were specifically chosen as major contributors to pollution incidents. Each small sign has a unique drain identification number and the phone number of EPA Victoria’s pollution hotline. If people notice colored liquid, foam of other pollutants flowing into the creek, they can call the EPA and report their observation quoting the location number printed on the sign allowing for quicker identification and response time to incidents.
An interesting project we have conducted was to install raingardens to residents in the City of Whittlesea. The aim of this pilot project was to install a number of FREE raingardens in residential properties and Schools in Whittlesea Council. The raingardens were designed to filter stormwater from downpipes prior to entering the Darebin Creek. The project preference was to install the raingarden in front yards therefore increasing the visibility of the project, however there was limited opportunity for this.
The raingardens themselves are a vital step in managing stormwater runoff into our rivers and creeks. They play a vital role in dealing with this issue by trapping stormwater close to where it falls, slowing runoff, treating pollutants, and allowing water to enter streams in a more natural way. Properly managing our stormwater runoff is vital to protecting the plants, animals and fish that rely on healthy waterways for survival, as well as maintaining an attractive waterway for public use.
EPA Victoria gave $50,000 to the Darebin Creek Rain Garden Project after the prosecution of Bilfinger Berger Services (Australia) Pty Ltd for discharge of raw sewerage into Jumping Creek at Warrandyte south. Under section 67AC of the Environment Protection Act 1970, Courts may direct a company or individual found guilty of environmental pollution to fund a community environmental project instead of, or in addition to, paying a fine.