- Source of the Darebin Creek
- Thomastown East Reserve
- Norris Bank Parkland
- Bundoora Park
- Sullivan’s Park
- Northland Shopping Centre
- Fez’s Wetlands
- Darebin Parklands
- Granite Hills/Quarry Hills, South Morang
Source of the Darebin Creek
The source of the Darebin Creek begins in the grazing areas around Woodstock.
Rural and agricultural areas are known to have the benefit that the waterways are rarely inundated with domestic litter or experience problems with human alteration. However, one problem arises when agricultural run off enters the waterway, which can cause an increase in nutrients, leading to problems such as algal blooms or the establishment of introduced species.
Therefore, the importance of sustainable agricultural practices is emphasized to ensure that the Darebin Creek remains in good health for the duration of its length.
The Darebin Creek then flows into the northern suburbs, which have been urbanised and industrialised. These areas have been modified from their native state and experience problems such as the inundation of contaminated storm water and litter.
However, through the responsible action of individuals and with the help of various interest groups, the quality of the Darebin Creek can be managed and it can be a beneficial habitat for native flora and fauna and can be a pleasant part of the natural landscapes for people to enjoy.
Thomastown East Reserve
Covering an area of 6.5ha, this area combines wide open spaces and modern recreational facilities. With 2 football/cricket ovals, cricket nets and tennis courts, it caters for the sports orientated visitors. In addition, families and groups are catered for with the convenience of picnic and barbeque facilities, while a playground and shelter are available for those wanting an outdoor social venue. Boardwalks and walking trails also enable visitors to visit the wetlands at the park and enjoy the local wildlife. The shared trail that follows the Darebin Creek is an optimal spot to view the creek and all the flora and fauna that it supports. Entrances are located at Leslie St and Rowen St, car parking is available. Melway 9 E8.
This reserve is also a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife including the endangered Growling Grass Frog . Also known as the Southern Bell Frog, this species was once common in the Victorian waterways, but species numbers have been declining. The reasons behind this reduction is uncertain, but can be linked to a number of factors such as disease, drought, introduced species and destruction to their habitat such as clearing of native vegetation and the contamination of waterways. Due to its severe decline in numbers, it was declared an endangered species in 1997. Active during the day, the Growling Grass Frog can be heard by its distinct growling call and can be visually identified by its colour which can be between a bright emerald green colour to a dull olive green, with brown &/or gold coloured blotches on its back. Members of the Friends of Darebin Creek have participated in the recording of this and other species of frog on “Frog Nights”. These nights are a fun way to learn about the different frog species in the area and take part in valuable research that is undertaken to help determine how may frogs are left in our waterways.
Norris Bank Parkland
This is an area combining trees and open parkland with picnic, barbeque and children’s playground facilities surrounded by a shared pathway. The has been upgraded and now includes barbeques, picnic facilities and toilets. The upgrade also included the construction of a basketball and handball court. Planting of native grasses and trees has also occurred in this area. The shared pathway which circles the park now follows the Darebin Creek and links up with the bike track along the Western Ring Road.
This known as Melbourne’s most diverse park. Bundoora Park covers 180 hectares and is set in natural bushland beside the Darebin Creek. The Park contains a number of features and activities including, a golf course, the historic Cooper’s Settlement, picnic and playground facilities and wetlands. The Mt Cooper Scenic drive offers spectacular views of Melbourne’s city skyline and is the highest point in the metropolitan area.
River Red Gum Plantation Project
Bundoora P arkland has many River Red Gums, some over 400 years old. A regeneration project is in progress to ensure the survival of 26 trees at the entrance to the park. These trees were becoming stressed due to the compaction of soil from foot traffic and mowing. This also stopped regeneration of the tress by mowing new seedlings. The program involves planting some 40,000 native grasses and shrubs around the original River Red Gums with the combination of weed eradication to allow the trees to regenerate. This is being done with help of individuals and groups within the Darebin.For more information on Bundoora Park, please visit: www.bundoorapark.com.au
Grassy woodlands once dominated most of the area around the Darebin Creek. Remnant River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) can still be found in places like Bundoora Park and private land further up in the top of the catchment. However there are relatively few places where the understorey of this type of vegetation is still intact. The area on the west side of the Darebin Creek near Sullivans Memorial Park is a good example of the pre-European vegetation community that once occurred frequently along the creek. The Friends of Darebin Creek are actively involved in restoring this important area. The City of Darebin Bushland Management manages this one-hectare remnant. It contains a good variety of native grasses, lilies and shrubs, which are all a good indicator of the sites health. Of critical importance to this vegetation type is the need for frequent fire. Fire reduces the competitive nature of the indigenous Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra). Kangaroo Grass can potentially smoother other wildflower species at the site. The close proximity of housing and industry to the site posses an obvious dilemma for fire management. Without frequent burning, the diversity and health of the site will be jeopardised. Fires often result from the actions of vandals, who have inadvertently assisted in reducing the cover of Kangaroo Grass.
Northland Shopping Centre
Located on Murray Rd, Preston, Northland Shopping Centre is a retail hub for the surrounding suburbs. Housing a large number of various retail outlets and a large car park, Northland is a popular centre for local residents. However, one problem that stems from this venue is its location next to the Darebin Creek and the prevalence of shopping trolleys that litter the creek that come from the centre. This causes many problems such as disruption of stream flow, destruction of the riparian vegetation, damage to wildlife habitat and erosion of the creek bed. To combat this, a collaborative effort by the Darebin Creek Management Committee, Northland Shopping Centre and the East Preston Islamic College was initiated in 2003. The “Don’t Waste Darebin Creek” campaign involved an educational component in conjunction with efforts to remove the existing litter within the vicinity. This has improved the creek conditions somewhat, however, efforts to reduce and remove the litter entering the creek at the Northland site is continual.
Recently renamed from Dundas Street to Fez’s Wetlands, it was artificially created to treat stormwater run off in the Thornbury area and create habitat along the Darebin Creek. Indigenous plantings including extensive aqautic plantings have created a small but significant habitat teeming with life. Ducks can often be seen feeding at the wetlands and it is also home to at least three species of frogs. The Darebin Creek Froggers meet twice a year to monitor the frog population at Dundas Street Wetlands. To get involved please contact DCMC on 9499 4454 or visit www.dcmc.org.au/management/frogs
The Parklands houses staff of the DCMC, in the aptly named Darebin Creek Environment Centre. The Environment Centre is the working hub of environmental education on the Darebin, where school, TAFE and university students, along with community groups and interested people can utilise the skills and facilities on offer. For picnickers and visitors the Darebin Parklands have toilets and free electric BBQs and plenty of open grassy areas to kick back and relax. Access to the park is either via Separation St, Alphington, or from Rockbeare Grove, Ivanhoe. Arrive via public transport from Alphington or Darebin Station or from the 508 Bus on Separation Street. For more information on the Darebin Parklands visit: www.dcmc.org.au/parklands
Where the Darebin Creek meets the Yarra River, this area offers an insight as to how the Darebin Creek contributes to the ecology of Melbourne. It reminds the visitor of the important relationships between our creek and river systems, and the importance of maintaining the quality of the Darebin Creek as it is one of the important feeders into one of Melbourne’s most celebrated natural icons. The Friends of Darebin Creek endeavour to improve and maintain the quality of the Darebin Creek, therefore attempting to ensure that the quality of the Yarra River is not compromised. Thus proving that if individuals and organisations such as the Friends of Darebin Creek take ownership over their area of the creek system, we can all enjoy the benefits.
Quarry Hills Bushland Park, South Morang
City of Whittlesea has developed a master plan that will help guide the future urban growth surrounding Quarry Hills Bushland Park in South Morang.
The master plan provides a blueprint for the future design and management of this regional park – which will grow in size from a current area of 220 hectares – including:
- increased access points
- reserved bushland
- new residential areas and existing affected properties
- park shelters
- habitat links
- walking tracks
The park has been created as a result of progressive urban development surrounding the Quarry Hills where subdivision has been permitted, generally up to the 185 metre contour. The land above this contour is dedicated to open space.