Our Moonee Ponds Creek

What is the Chain of Ponds?

The Chain of Ponds is a comprehensive investigation into what the Moonee Ponds Creek is today and what it may become in the future.
It is a holistic plan that explores the relationship amongst the many variables and forces that affect the creek. It listens closely to the multitude of diverse ideas and opinions expressed by the community, including what the creek means to different people.
It attempts to reconcile the many disparate and often divergent understandings of the creek and its role.
Most importantly, it stakes a claim for the creek itself, its importance to people, animals and plants, its endurance despite a history of neglect, and its future as a crucial and increasingly important landscape that provides a powerful connection with nature within a large city.

Improving Recreational Access - Update July 2019

The Chain of Ponds Collaboration has received funding through the State Government's 'Boosting Recreational Water Use' initiative, to deliver a project that improves access and amenity along a section of the Moonee Ponds Creek in Essendon/Brunswick West.

This project is being led by Melbourne Water, in collaboration with Moonee Valley City Council and Moreland City Council.

A draft landscape plan has been developed which includes:

  • Removal of redundant cyclone fencing and improved access and path networks along the eastern side of the creek
  • A shared path connection between Vanberg and Hopetoun Avenue (extending to Moreland Road)
  • Installation of amenity infrastructure such as seats and signage
  • Revegetation and soft landscaping
  • Incorporation of Water Sensitive Urban Design/wetland opportunity to revitalise the old Melville Creek corridor

Melbourne Water are currently seeking public feedback on the draft plan. Provide your feedback before Tuesday 13 August by:

  • Email Melbourne Water
  • Attending a pop up information session on Thursday 25 July 4-6pm (at the parkland between Vanberg and Donald Avenue), or on Saturday 27 July 10-12noon (at the parkland at 1 Hopetoun Avenue)
  • Fill out the Your Say online feedback form

Refer Melbourne Water’s website for the draft plan here.

Why do we need a plan for Moonee Ponds Creek?

Climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to both global health and the economy in the 21st century. We will need to adapt to remain resilient in the face of this change.
This plan takes a holistic approach – respecting the creek’s unique biodiversity and cultural heritage, meeting the needs of the community and taking steps necessary to manage changes in climate and weather conditions.
For example, our concrete drainage network might not cope with more intense rainfall which can lead to flooding, however, we can employ ecosystem services to manage movement through gardens, wetlands and streams.
In doing so, floods can be prevented and we can create beautiful community and ecological spaces.

View Chain of Ponds

We’re proud to share with you our vision for the Moonee Ponds Creek, the Chain of Ponds, which was endorsed by Moonee Valley and Moreland City Councils in December, 2018.

Download Chain of Ponds (75.8 MB, PDF)

History of the creek

Like most landscapes, the creek has evolved and changed as time has progressed. It has served different purposes and been shaped by the changing attitudes of the community around it.

A living creek

Prior to white settlement, the creek played an important role in Wurundjeri culture as a meeting and gathering place. It was a source of abundant wildlife and was integral to the ecology of the region.

An agricultural creek

With European settlement came the sub-division of the land to the high water mark of the creek. By 1845, the landscape was cleared, fencing was erected and farming and sand mining commenced. Sheep grazing was followed by wheat and other grains and the land was celebrated for its productiveness. The first State Farm was established on the banks of the creek in Parkville.

A sewer creek

Due to the lack of vegetation, erosion of the creek bank occurred and sedimentation and flooding became a major problem of the creek, which was treated like an open sewer. By the second half of the 19th century, health problems became a major concern and residents called for ‘improvement’ to the creek. Within a short time frame, the creek as significantly altered in form and appearance.

A drainage creek

After the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works was established in 1890, work commenced to sewer the city and solve ongoing flooding issues along the creek. Concerns about health and safety along the creek led to a long term drainage scheme that included substantial changes to its alignment and form, most noticeably, the installation of concrete lining.

A recreation creek

Early in the twentieth century, the population was growing and the need to provide suitable recreational spaces was obvious. The only cost-effective and available land was along the creek which led to the development of recreational and sporting facilities in this space. In 1929, a linear park along the creek was proposed, although it was not constructed.

An urbanised creek

With substantial migration from Europe, the post war period marked significant population growth, fuelling rapid urban expansion along the creek. A new high was constructed along the creek floodplain to service the new suburbs and international airport, and support increased private car ownership. The creek was significantly realigned and channelised.

An environmental creek

The 1960s and 70s marked a significant shift in community attitudes towards the creek, with increased recognition of the ecological and social importance of the creek. Community groups were established to improve the creek’s health and function.

A future creek

Today we face important decisions about the type of city we would like to live in. We have significantly intervened and altered our natural systems and now need to change our management of these natural and urban ecosystems.

Which areas are covered in the plan?

The plan aims to improve the ecological health of the creek while creating a linear park that connects the inner and outer suburbs for people, animals and plants.

The linear park forms the eastern edge of Moonee Valley. The trail, which runs along the creek, is approximately 13.5km long and extends between Racecourse Road in Flemington and the Western Ring Road at Jacana Wetlands, Glenroy.

Shared path users can access various facilities including Debneys Park, Travancore Park, Ormond Park, Cross Keys Reserve, Lebanon Reserve, JP Fawkner Reserve Strathmore Reserve, Oak Park Aquatic Centre, Boeing Reserve and Jacana Wetlands.

Who else is part of the Chain of Ponds?

Council is part of an historic agreement to help transform the Moonee Ponds Creek, the Chain of Ponds Collaboration. Chain of Ponds Collaboration partners include:

  • Melbourne Water
  • City of Moonee Valley
  • Hume City Council
  • Moreland City Council
  • City of Melbourne
  • City West Water
  • Yarra Valley Water
  • Victorian Planning Authority
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia
  • Parks Victoria
  • Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek
  • Kensington Association
  • Moonee Valley Bicycle User Group
  • Living Colour Studio

As signatories to the MOU, these parties have determined to work together to deliver a shared vision of Transforming the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic waterway for Melbourne that enhances its natural capital and provides high social and environmental benefits to local and wider communities.As signatories to the MOU, these parties have determined to work together to deliver a shared vision of Transforming the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic waterway for Melbourne that enhances its natural capital and provides high social and environmental benefits to local and wider communities.

We're advocating for the Moonee Ponds Creek

Revitalising the Moonee Ponds Creek is one of Council’s top priorities in its Advocacy Strategy 2018-21.
We are seeking funding support from partners to deliver an important symbolic project which would remove concrete channel at Brosnan Crescent, Strathmore and return this section of the Creek to a more naturalised state.  This was the final section of the Creek to be concreted in the 1970s.

Find out more about how you can be involved here.

Where can I get more information?

Moonee Valley contact: City Design Team
Phone: 9243 8888
Email: ourcreek@mvcc.vic.gov.au

Moreland contact: Open Space
Phone: 8311 4387
Email: openspace@moreland.vic.gov.au

Last updated: Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 10:59 AM