Murray Brook is a creek system that fingers its way through the agricultural landscape north of Koroit all the way down via Crossley to Belfast Lough Port Fairy.
In 2013 Basalt to Bay Landcare Network partnered with Karingal to begin a riparian restoration project on a couple of slivers of council land on the junction of Lenehans Lane and Daltons Rd at Killarney. The site alongside Murray Brook had the worst possible soil for a Landcare project – being the spoil dredged out of the creek and dumped beside it. Mostly clay, almost no soil biota, rabbits, and exposed to all the wind and heat and cold the weather could throw at it. In short an unlovely prospect for attempting to restore creek habitat. In 2015 our Green Army Crew took over, adding compost donated by The Camperdown Compost Company, more plants, and treating weeds. In 2016 the site was returned to Moyne Shire and they have since continued the efforts with contractors and Gilsen College.
The creek at the project site used to stink of rotting manure. On occasion someone used it to conceal dumped dead sheep. It had about as much charm as that conveys. But I recently leaned over the railing on the bridge to look into the water. This time instead of all that yuk what I saw was a school of Galaxias – one of our native fish – swimming in the flow that comes through from a nearby spring. The trees are growing well and its starting to provide habitat for the insect these fish eat to grow to up to 10cm long. These same fish are food in the web that supports whole fisheries in SW Victoria – including recreational.
When I am asked what positive changes Landcare brings to our area – this is one that rates high on the list.