Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek Inc.


Newsletter No. 1

Autumn 2002




Waurn Ponds Creek rises at Mt. Moriac, flows east for 23 km. and joins the Barwon River at Belmont Common. It was the first creek Europeans settled anywhere in Victoria and has a long history of Aboriginal occupation: waurn is their word for 'house'.


The Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek Inc.:
Members include locals, service groups, businesses, schools, Barrabool Hills Landcare, City of Greater Geelong and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority. Our draft Management Plan has strategies for restoration projects, and community networks along the creek. Geelong naturalist Trevor Pescott is drawing up a habitat plan. Barwon Water Community Nursery will help with seed propagation from local, indigenous species.


The creek has been degraded, neglected and in poor condition for a long time. It badly needs some attention and the Friends believe that both the farmers upstream and the urban population downstream want to see it improved. The Friends group was formed to start a works program on the creek and organize local actions.


We want to work on the full length of the creek to recreate a habitat corridor, and make this a clean, healthy waterway. Other plans include extending the bike track and making picnic spots.


The next meeting is 7.30 June 12th at the Waurn Ponds Hall (on Princes H'way near Cochranes Rd.) Welcome!!!

The story so far ...
The main problems for this creek are: poor water quality from rural and urban run-off and rubbish, erosion and degraded bed and banks, pest plants and animals and loss of habitat and open space for local flora and fauna species.

Various groups and individuals have been cleaning up and planting on some sites of the creek. Barwon Water Waterwatch tests water quality regularly.

In Febnary 2002 the CCMA funded a fish survey and found a variety of fish including the Yarra Pygmy Perch, a threatened species, still living in the creek. COGG has begun clearing pest plants from the lower part of the creek.

The next chapter ...
This winter Landcare farmers are planning to start fencing, removing weeds and planting along the creek.

The Friends will host a forum in August to talk about the issues affecting the creek. (Watch for advance notice in the media and the winter newsletter). We will have a variety of speakers and plenty of time for you to ask questions and put forward your ideas on the future of the creek. We hope you'll join us.

In spring several new and established groups will adopt their own sections of the creek and start clearing and planting. Conservation Volunteers Australia will help, as will the City Council and the CCMA.

Some facts about the Creek:
  • Waurn Ponds Creek drains the southern slopes of the Barrabool Hills and is an important part of the wider Barwon River catchment.
  • The creek was first surveyed in the 1840s and was called Chain of Ponds because it contracts into permanent pools in dry weather.
  • The creek flows through the low-lying Marshall Plains and drains the surrounding flood plain.
  • In 1977 the Valley Parklands were set aside for open space.
  • Waurn Ponds Creek is one of the last places zoned for open space in the fast-growing Grovedale to Waurn Ponds suburbs.
  • COGG conducted an Open Space Study recently to look at the needs of the area for open space and recreation. They found that the creek should be preserved as a linear corridor for future generations to enjoy.
  • Hundreds of people use the creek every day for general recreation.