Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek Inc.


Newsletter No. 4

Autumn 2003


Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek is an environmental initiative, to preserve the amenity of a largely suburban waterway and its flood plain.

Great start in our inaugural year

Nearly 100 people have registered their interest in the group. We now have six co-ordinators along the creek but need more. If you are interested in being a co-ordinator please contact Jackie who will give you a better idea of what is involved. We require co-ordinators for

  • Winter St,
  • Torquay Rd to Camdell Ct,
  • Cobbin Farm area and up to Pioneer Rd.
Earliest planting for this year won't start until June due to poor rainfall but there are still other jobs that can be done.
  • Working bees to clear and remove rubbish/small shrubs.
  • Seed propagation.
  • Bird/plant/water watch surveys.
  • Educating local schools and encouraging their participation as part of their curriculum.
  • Preparation of a spring festival which will become a yearly event.
  • Photocopying of quarterly newsletter, liasing with local media etc.
Murray Box, co-ordinator for area F along Grove Road has done amazing things ...
He has already organized a regular monthly working bee to which 20 people show up and have cleared an enormous amount of rubbish from along side the creek. Well done and thankyou from all of us who use the walking track along the creek.
Seeds to Trees for our Creek
gum nut Thankyou to Helen for collecting seeds this summer and thankyou to Grahame and Sharon Abbott for organizing their propagation at Barwon community nursery with Jillian's help. Seeds collected were from River Red-gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Sticky Hop-bush Dodonea viscosa, Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha, Black Wattle A. mearnsii and Blackwood A. melanoxylon.

What is a Pea Crab?

It is a tiny dark brown freshwater crab, the size of a five cent piece, with a body the size of a pea and it lives in Waurn Ponds Creek. It has compound eyes on short stalks, but it can't see very clearly, although it can detect changes inPea crab brightness. The female keeps her pale pink eggs held close underneath her body with special legs called pleopods. Dave King found a female with eggs at our Open Day and another was found during a Waterwatch testing demonstration near Grove Road in February. This little crab, like the water snails that were found on that occasion, and like the Yarra Pygmy Perch found during the fish survey and by Dave, is a living indicator of the health of the creek. It is one of the things that makes Waurn Ponds Creek so special and why we need to look after it.

A shower of Rain Rejuvenates the Flood Plain...Dave King

Over the last several months of hot and dry weather conditions the Waurn Ponds Creek flood-plain has shown little in the way of ground-dwelling creatures. Indeed the soil has become so dry as to cause intense soil shrinkage, to the extent that wide cracks have appeared, which no doubt secrete many field crickets. Now after a shower or two of rain producing a reasonable depth of moisture within the soil column, signs of activity can be seen and heard-mating calls of the crickets and nest-building by ants. Within areas relatively bare of grass and subject to a degree of run-off, as from the walking track, a series of excavations can be seen. These look like miniature volcanic cones, about 150 mm in diameter, composed of fine grains of moist soil, and all invariably appearing overnight. There is usually a series of some five to eight cones distributed within an area of about a quarter square metre. If these excavations are observed in the early morning, the actual excavators may be seen-ants each carrying a grain of soil up the vent, depositing it on the rim of the cone and then immediately returning down the vent. These busy little individuals are Sugar Ants, Camponotus consibrinus in most instances. There are 128 different species of this ant genus distributed throughout Australia.
Pest Plants and Animalstree
COGG and CCMA have allocated a lot of resources to the Waurn Ponds Creek for this year. Already extensive weed spraying, weed removal, and rabbit baiting has commenced and CVA are going to be putting many hours into helping us with the more inaccessible parts of the creek. We must not waste this golden opportunity to make a huge positive impact along the creek this year.
The Last Word …
Mike Haigh has seen a Long-necked Tortoise among the reeds down near the mouth of the creek.

Education Group
A new group is to be formed to look at ways of educating the public and especially schoolchildren about Waurn Ponds Creek.

Mike Haigh, a local resident, has begun to compile this website about Waurn Ponds Creek. He will start with the history of the 'Chain of Ponds' as the creek was first called, and newsletter items will be added. The site will be a wonderful way of letting the whole world know about the Friends of Waurn Ponds Creek and what we are aiming to achieve.

Grants for Graphics
We have received the following grants:
  • $4800 from the City of Greater Geelong Community Grants Program for interpretative signage.
  • $2000 from Corangamite Catchment Management Authority for a graphic artist to prepare an information kit for the whole community.

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