Muscle Creek restored
Muswellbrook Shire Council with the support of local community groups and volunteers is returning the much-abused Muscle Creek to its former glory.
Muscle Creek, named for the freshwater mussels that were once abundant, is a meandering waterway that runs through Muswellbrook. Over the years of urbanisation, weeds and litter had taken over to the point where the creek had become underutilised and its beauty forgotten.
Over five hectares of weeds have been removed from the creek and more than 10,000 native plants replaced them. Plans are currently in place to improve access to the creek with a “Nature Trail” and to install community art projects adjacent to the creek.
The Muscle Creek Landcare group meet monthly to work along the creek with a current focus on litter removal. To support growing interest in Landcare, Local Landcare Coordinator Nicholas Alexander decided to remove the burdens of incorporation and insurance by allowing the group to become a volunteer group for council.
A New South Wales Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation Grant using the project title “Club to Club” aims at rehabilitating the urban riparian zone between the golf club and the workers club and relies on a mixture of contractor works and volunteer working bees to help restore the creek.
Nicholas is excited about the progress being made.
“There is momentum building amongst the community and they are encouraged by what they are seeing. The Club to Club project is definitely having an impact, and we can now see what a Muscle Creek without weeds and litter will look like.”
Council’s Sustainability Coordinator, Mark Scandrett said, “We see the great potential to use Muscle Creek as a showcase for revegetation and sustainability.
“With community support the creek can become a real community asset and a place where people meet and learn about living sustainably.”
And with local residents becoming increasingly interested in ways of achieving a more sustainable lifestyle the Sustainability Unit responded by opening a Sustainability Hub.
The Hub gives residents, community groups, schools and other groups a place to meet and the wider community a site to explore sustainability and pursue ideas such as a community garden, producing slow food, bush food gardens and re-use and up-cycling programs.