Melbourne Water and the Chain of Ponds Collaboration are working with the community to reimagine a section of Moonee Ponds Creek (Brosnan Cres, Strathmore) to create a more appealing waterway, activate open space, enhance recreational opportunities along the creek and improve waterway health.
This exciting project springs from a $5million grant awarded to the Chain of Ponds Collaboration as part of the Government's Building Works program - getting thousands of people back to work as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Partners include Melbourne Water, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Merri-bek Council and Moonee Valley Council. The project area includes a 400 m section of the creek in Strathmore/Oak Park. It will deliver a range of benefits including increased pedestrian access points, connectivity and recreational facilities, as well as increased community use of a linear park along the creek.
The project aims to achieve lasting social, environmental and community outcomes that will provide inspiration for future sections of the creek to be transformed.
latest news - july 2023
We’re nearly half way there!
As we near the half way mark, the Reimagining Moonee Ponds Creek project is progressing well and is on track to be finished in early 2024.
“What excites me the most about this stage of the project is the community's excitement in seeing the creek transform into a more enjoyable space," says Edwina Manifold, Communications and Engagement Advisor at Melbourne Water. "People who have grown up in the area, and who advocated against further concreting of the creek, were instrumental in making this project a reality”.
Rock by rock
Greenworks (who are delivering the project works on behalf of Melbourne Water) have been replacing the concrete panelling along the creek with carefully selected rocks. This is so it has a more natural look and feel, maintains the structural integrity of the banks, and prevents scouring and erosion.
Rather than removing the concrete base, rocks will be installed on top of the concrete base to create a meandering creek. This is also because of low contaminant (PFAS) levels in the underlying soil found during early investigations. The installation of rock at the base will lock the PFAS in place, avoid additional costs, and optimise funds and resources. These works should be completed in late 2023.
When starting the project, we initially thought that any contaminated concrete removed from the creek would need to be disposed of. However, an innovative solution was found through a recycling facility, where they use a heat process to remove any contaminants (such as PFAS) in old concrete. So now, the removed concrete can be re-purposed and used for other projects. This is a fantastic outcome for the project, the environment, and the community.
Plant by plant
A total of 43,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted on the site by the end of the project. This milestone was celebrated with a planting event with special guests in May 2023. You can read more about this milestone event here.
Shared path renewal works to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians are almost complete on the Moonee Valley Council side of the creek. This includes a meandering concrete footpath to slow traffic, and an informal gravel path for a peaceful walk away from cyclists. This is on track to be completed in mid 2023. Construction of the Merri-bek Council shared paths are will be completed later in 2023.
In 2021, extensive community consultation took place where the community were asked what they loved about Moonee Ponds Creek, how they use the space, future improvements to the channel, and surrounding open space. Their feedback was used to develop three design concepts and they voted on their preferred one. That concept design is now what’s being turned into a reality.
Members of the project team have been meeting with local residents and community groups (including presentations to a local Probus club, and a school geography class) who have reached out for more information on the project. The Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek have also been great at passing local resident questions to us.
“The community's involvement throughout the journey of this project has been instrumental in achieving such positive outcomes for this much-loved creek,” says Edwina.
Look out for upcoming works in August 2023 to February 2024 to create stepped terracing and a deep pond on the northern side of the creek. This will create a more enjoyable open space with stepping-stones to provide an interactive experience and more connection with the creek. The construction of a new bridge is scheduled for January 2024 to improve community accessibility and safety, particularly for the nearby primary school.