Enhancing native bushland along an urban creekline

Monash Freeway Upgrade (MFU) Project

Stage 1 of the Monash Freeway Upgrade (MFU) delivered 30 kilometres of freeway widening and upgrade works east of Melbourne from 2016 to 2018. As part of our partnership with Transurban, Landcare Australia helped develop an urban landcare initiative in the vicinity of the freeway upgrade works, between Warrigal Road and Koo Wee Rup Road.

The City of Greater Dandenong was awarded a grant, funded through the MFU Project partnership with Transurban, to enhance habitat in a section of Dandenong Creek immediately adjacent to the freeway. The grant contributed to continuing habitat enhancement works already undertaken by the City of Greater Dandenong elsewhere along the creek.

The Dandenong Creek is missing many of the large, hollow-bearing trees which provide important habitat for a variety of fauna, and this project has helped attract native birds and regenerate an area of native bushland in this urban hotspot.

A key project outcome was the creation of a nature trail, linking Dandenong Creek to the existing Dandenong Creek Trail, with additional on-ground works undertaken to significantly improve habitat and the nature trail experience. Works included creating information signs about local flora and fauna, and the value of tree hollows. To complement this, Monash Freeway Upgrade staff got involved in the environmental works, constructing nest boxes which were then installed in established trees beside the creek.

The new nature trail extended visitor range in the area, improving access for walkers, bicycle users and the general public. The trail and surrounding habitat were substantially improved by the initiative.

Juvenile trees were planted into the adjacent horse paddock, creating habitat corridors, and Monash Freeway Upgrade provided an additional 3,000 indigenous tubestock, many of which were planted by the City of Greater Dandenong into the surrounding bushland, to suppress weeds and enhance the area’s biodiversity as well as increase food and habitat resources for local animals.

The Monash Freeway Upgrade project is the fourth in a series of initiatives undertaken by Landcare Australia and our partner Transurban, to rethink the use of vacant land and areas surrounding its roads network. Successfully completed projects include:

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