Enhancing native bushland along an urban creekline

Monash Freeway Upgrade (MFU) Project

Monash Freeway Upgrade is delivering 44 kilometres of freeway widening and upgrade works east of Melbourne. As part of our partnership with Transurban, Landcare Australia have helped to 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 has been awarded a grant funded through the Transurban partnership, to regenerate a section of Dandenong Creek immediately adjacent to the freeway, using plants native to the area. The grants will support this particular section, and contribute to habitat enhancement works being 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 will help attract native birds and regenerate an area of native bushland in this urban hotspot.

A key project outcome is creating 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 will include creating information signs about local flora and fauna, and installing, in established trees, nest boxes constructed by Monash Freeway Upgrade staff.

The new nature trail will extend visitor range in the area, improving access for walkers, bicycle users and the public. The trail and surrounding habitat will be substantially improved by the nest box initiative, and a community event planned for June will further raise local awareness and appreciation of the area.

Juvenile trees will also be planted into the adjacent horse paddock, creating habitat corridors, and Monash Freeway Upgrade are providing an additional 3,000 indigenous tubestock to be planted by the City of Greater Dandenong into the surrounding bushland area, to enhance its existing habitat values.

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 across its roads network. Successfully completed projects include the regeneration of Melbourne’s Power Street Loop and the M2 Macquarie Park Motorscapes project in Sydney. Landcare works are also currently underway on the CityLink Tulla Widening Urban Landcare Project.

Photos provided by: City of Greater Dandenong

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