A small but dedicated environmental group in Knox is making a big difference to biodiversity.
Formed in 2021, Friends of the Gully (FROGY) cares for the Blind Creek corridor from the Dandenong Ranges National Park to the Belgrave railway line in Underwood Road, Ferntree Gully.
FROGY president Robyn Madsen says the group formed to transform the Chatham Avenue Reserve in Ferntree Gully through revegetation with native plants and installing nesting boxes in the tall trees to encourage wildlife habitats.
“It’s really important to have good healthy creeks; having good native vegetation around the creeks helps to filter nutrients out and create healthy waterways so then the water bugs and other critters can survive in the creek," she says.
“We would like to extend the area we operate in right up and down Blind Creek up to the Dandenong Ranges National Park. But it’s a lot of work and so we’re just starting in this patch, and we’ve planted some trees in another part of the creek down on Underwood Drive to create an overstory canopy.
“This part is important — it creates connectivity between those patches and the National Park, which really assists wildlife passage.
“The wood ducks have recently taken to inspecting our work during our monthly working bees. We are planting a balance of ground covers, midstory and canopy vegetation to cater to the needs of various animals. People often wonder why they don’t get the small birds such as the fantails and pardalotes in their gardens but they may be missing the plants that attract the insects these birds eat.”
Council delivers an annual revegetation program with environmental volunteers, targeting creek corridors such as that along Blind Creek.
The section of remnant creek and vegetation that FROGY cares for is deemed a site of biological significance under the Knox Planning Scheme, which aims to protect habitat and indigenous vegetation across Knox.
FROGY has working bees on the fourth Saturday of the month from 10am-12pm, meeting at the bridge in Chatham Avenue Reserve, Ferntree Gully.
During Biodiversity Month held in September each year, Council joins with environmental volunteer groups to shine the spotlight on the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biodiversity.
To celebrate the month, Council is hosting and promoting events and activities that encourage residents to recognise and enjoy the natural environment, wildlife and wonders of Knox.
Get involved in Knox’s volunteer environmental groups:
• Friends of the Glenfern Green Wedge
• Friends of Koolunga Native Reserve
• Friends of Blind Creek Billabong
• Friends of Old Joes Creek
• Friends of the Gully
• First Friends of Dandenong Creek
• Knox Environment Society