Friends of Clematis Creek

Clematis Creek originates in Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. It runs alongside Monbulk Road from Kallista, past Micawber Tavern and the Sherbrooke Art Gallery in Belgrave. Further along it turns east through Puffing Billy where it runs parallel to the narrow-gauge track till it joins Monbulk Creek just before the Trestle Bridge.

Clematis Creek Bushland Reserve,
60 Monbulk Road, Belgrave (Melway 75 G8)
is a postage stamp size quarter acre block of remnant and regenerated bush. Until 2002 it had been an unofficial dump site for building and household rubbish, but had a natural spring with native sedges, and remnant tree-ferns and blackwoods.

This is a photo from 2012 showing the steep bank we planted with native grasses. The natural spring is in the centre, with remnant Carex appressa sedges below the fallen log. Yes we struggle with Arum Lillies and the familiar salad of weeds.

The Friends of Clematis Creek is a group of neighbours who live and work next to Clematis Creek in Belgrave. We began in 2002 with support from the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Melbourne Water. We are unincorporated, meet only at working bees, collect no dues. Gavin from the Yarra Ranges Council Bushland Team manages our reserve. Sander is our ace weeding contractor August 2004. Friends clearing Cestrum at the Sherbrooke Art Gallery, to reveal an ancient double trunk Rough Tree-fern and a remnant Austral Mulberry (the tall "sticks" in the centre. It recovered and has glossy dark green leaves year round). Can you spot the 3 tree-ferns in the cestrum thicket? Melbourne Water continues to fund landowners to clear weeds and grow indigenous plants along their section of stream bank. [For more details, search online using the phrase, melbourne water stream frontage. Phone Malcolm Brown on 0417 580 031 for a site visit.]

Yarra Ranges Council

1. helps residents dispose of environmental weeds in several ways:

  • o  Weed removal techniques fact sheets

  • o  Free transfer station vouchers for specific weed species (like IVY)

  • o  Scheduled waste and recycling schemes [For more information search online using the phrase yarra ranges weed control or phone the Environment Dept. on 1300 368333 ]

    2. can help residents acquire plants suited to their location. They are grown at the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery, Birds Land Reserve, 271 Mt Morton Rd., Belgrave Heights. The Nursery is open to the public 9-4 Tuesdays & 9-12 Sundays. 3. Has online resources including the Yarra Ranges Plant Directory and database of Environmental Weeds.
    4. supports Friends groups with advice, tools, plants and weed bag collection

Working Bees

In addition to weeding and revegetating our own gardens, The Friends hold group working bees. We have worked at the Sherbrooke Art Gallery, the Parks Victoria streambank near the Micawber Tavern, and, since 2004, at the Clematis Creek Bushland Reserve. Sometimes we pitch in and work on each other's weeds.

Water Watch

We monitor water quality of our creek through Melbourne Water's Water Watch Program. We share this work with friends from the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group and the Friends of Sherbrooke Forest.

Belgrave - Selby Sewerage Scheme, 2012-2013

In September 2012 South East Water used leftover funding from the Belgrave South sewerage program to begin work on extending the network to over 700 properties in Belgrave and Selby. Connections for residents will not start until both Belgrave and Selby projects are completed.

In Selby the Project will provide sewerage to hundreds of properties south of the Trestle Bridge where Friends and Landcare groups are actively clearing weeds and restoring native vegetation.

The Belgrave section is in the Clematis Creek catchment area bordering the Dandenong Ranges National Park along Terry's Avenue, Monbulk Road and Glen Harrow Heights Road. By early December work was nearly completed in this section when the project was halted because funding was not continued.

The sudden decision to postpone this project is a huge disappointment. We urge people to write to the Victorian Water Minister, Peter Walsh before the May 2013 budget to reinstate funding for this work for 2013-14.

Peter Walsh, MP
Minister for Water
274 Campbell Street
SWAN HILL Vic 3585
Phone: (03) 5032 3154

Platypus are still seen in Clematis Creek, though rarely. Wombats, wallabies, antechinus, skinks, Powerful Owls, parrots and many other birds are all active along our creek. As are leeches, of course.

Wetland Rain Garden to Filter Sullage Waste

In 2007 the friends dug a basin around a wastewater outlet pipe from a neighbouring property. We lined it with weed mat and planted sedges, ferns and shrubs to form a wetland rain garden. This was during drought conditions, and the plants struggled, but eventually took hold, and are doing their job filtering the pollutants. Some of the shrubs (Olearia argophylla and Prostanthera lasianthos) have died since the rains returned, but the Carex appressa and Gahnia sieberiana are thriving.

Rain Garden / Swale

Our "Platypus In Clematis Creek" sign was mounted in front of the Reserve in 2008.

The regulars, Sue, Rosemary, Priscilla and Michael (behind the camera).

In 2011 Steve from the Shire Bushland Team constructed a graceful swale at the front of the Reserve to capture run off and pollutants from Monbulk Road. We planted sedges and rushes in and around it