Friends of Stony Creek Inc.
History of the Group
In May 1993 Greening Footscray became Friends of Stony Creek and has worked ever since to restore the native vegetation along the creek, often on land that was formerly quarried and is now kept as open space. The group currently has around 40 members.
Most of our work is at the Hyde St Reserve in Yarraville but we also have plantings further upstream. In 2003 a fire cleared the weeds from a slope between Cala Street and Paramount Road, West Footscray. We moved in and planted while the going was good. Some of our plants there are still thriving, albeit among abundant weeds.
We have planted more trees than would probably have been there when Batman landed, including Allocasuarina verticillata, Acacia spp, Eucalyptus spp, and Kangaroo Apple – plants which aren't harmed by rabbits once well grown. Maintaining grassland takes a good deal of effort. Near Hyde Street we have a rabbit-proof enclosed area for grasses and forbs where we have put in considerable effort in recent years. Unfortunately that area was burnt in 2006 and became a fence around scorched earth. The dianellas were the first natives to come back. The Kangaroo Apples went berserk but the drought has stressed them.
Fire and rabbits are not our only problems. Just upstream of Paramount Road, Tottenham was a patch of Yellow Rush-lilies until a construction firm dumped its rubble there and the remnant native vegetation disappeared. There have also been numerous pollution events which have affected the creek over the years.
We work with Maribyrnong City Council, although we have not always seen eye to eye. Generally they provide some plants and prepare some of our planting sites while we provide local knowledge, hands on work and have input into open space planning.
We have good working relationships with others in our community. Mobil donated a motorized hole digger for planting. Melbourne Water has provided a Waterwatch kit which we and the Friends of Cruickshank Park use to monitor water quality. Students from Victoria University (Horticulture) and Caroline Chisholm College have undertaken several plantings. Each year we do a planting with Parks Victoria in the Backwash State Park and another at Matthews Hill Reserve with Brimbank Council. Some of our work has been funded by pollution fines imposed by the EPA.
Friends of Stony Creek conduct a number of plantings and maintenance days every year. These are organised either solely with the group, or in conjunction with other community partners including Maribyrnong City Council. All volunteers are welcome. See our calender for scheduled dates.
To see the changes that have occurred due to our plantings, visit our transformations page.
We are actively engaged with local Council, Melbourne Water and other stakeholders with regard to the ongoing management of the land in the vicinity of Stony Creek, and future development and protection of land. We are non-political and have no hidden agendas apart from community building and protecting/promoting the environment.
Friends of Stony Creek undertake monthly water testing at sites along Stony Creek. A large central database has been set up by Melbourne Water into which individual test results are entered. This enables comparison and cross-referencing of data between waterways over time and give us a better understanding of the comparative health of our region’s creeks.
Monitoring data for Stony Creek are available at the Melbourne Water website.
We conduct tours of Stony Creek and its environs, and give presentations at various events. We work with local schools to educate future generations regarding the protection and management of our environment. We aim to raise the profile of the creek in the local community for the purposes of recreation and education. To arrange for one of our volunteers to provide a tour or talk, please contact us.
We issue and distribute a newsletter to all of our members via email. To become a member, simply fill out this form.
Friends of Stony Creek 2013