An important part of the Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek project has been finding ways to ensure the creek, and its plants, insects and animals continue to flourish.
We've already reinstated some of the creek's natural waterflows, enhanced remnant billabongs, revitalised wetlands, and encouraged native fish species such as the threatened Dwarf galaxias and Yarra pygmy perch. Read more about Phase 1 of the project, which was in collaboration with Parks Victoria, Knox and Maroondah councils and the Dandenong Creek community.
But there's still much more to be done.
'Biodiversity, habitat connectivity and greening our environment' is focusing on improving the habitat of the billabongs, wetlands, parks and floodplains across several sites important to Dandenong Creek and the community.
Learn more about what biodiversity and habitat connectivity means in the FAQs on this page. And don't forget to follow the project to stay up to date with our projects along Dandenong Creek and to learn how you can be involved.
How are we choosing which sites to focus on?
Over the past year we've been working with stakeholders to find ways of improving the habitat of the billabongs, wetlands, parks and floodplains across several sites important to Dandenong Creek and the community. Through meetings and workshops, and armed with all the thoughts and ideas you've shared with us during phase 1, we've identified several projects and agreed on two central themes to carry us through the next five years:
- Improving habitat for native and threatened plants and animals
- Enhancing the natural waterflow of the creek and remnant billabongs, meanders and wetlands.
Use the tabs to flip between the three steps used to refine project sites and priorities.
Taking a 'learning journey'
Learning journeys are an opportunity to become acquainted with the environment. For Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek, it was a chance to immerse ourselves in the possibilities of the program and to really tune into the creek and its environment. Our learning journey brought together local community groups, local government and state agencies to visit future sites, see afresh through others' eyes, observe the environment and ourselves in it and really take time to pause, reflect, ask questions and share and write down our thoughts and experiences.
In this way we could:
- bring people out on site together to experience the creek and share in our diverse experiences of it
- hear first-hand from locals and experts alike about opportunities and challenges in the local area
- begin the process of site prioritisation and design criteria.
The learning journey discussions and decision-making criteria were an important starting point for the next phase of workshops that narrowed down which sites to develop further.
Check out the gallery to follow our learning journey.
Listening circles are where community members shared their personal stories with small groups of stakeholders to encourage a deeper listening and help guide collaboration and outcomes. During phase 1 of Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek we held listening circles to get a stronger sense of place and what this means to the Dandenong Creek community. After these stories were shared, each listening circle wrote down the lessons that emerged from group discussions.
Check out the gallery to learn more about what these listening circles told us.
Prioritising sites and works
The discussions that came out of the learning journey, as well as feedback from stakeholders were an important starting point for discussing and prioritising sites and possible works.
We've held several workshops for this step of the process and it was important to have a clear set of guidelines to help in making decisions.
For each proposed site, stakeholders were asked to keep in mind:
- Environmental gain
- Focus on biodiversity and connectivity
- Small patches create a collective impact
- Important for the community to see and hear water
- Creating refuges for the community away from the 'hustle and bustle'.
After group discussion, a few more principles and criteria emerged including:
- taking advantage of existing remnant values
- projects that ‘bring together’ people and partnerships
- projects that ‘share the love around’ (i.e. not all focused in a single geographic location)
- projects that have a longer term viability for the creek and community.
Follow the gallery to get a glimpse of the prioritising sites and works workshops.