A stronger voice for the creeks sounds like a good thing to me. Here are five other places to start.
Showcase what we do already. At Stanley Park, Greening of Riddell, Riddells Landcare, and now in Gisborne, regular working bees improve the health of creeks. We need cooperation from government programs. We need publicity that gets through to those who are be ready to join in. We have to get savvy about communication.
Walk the creeks of the Macedon. If more people walk our creeks, they’ll learn about them, fall in love with them and get noisy about them. Let’s tell people what’s there and make it easy for them to venture out.
Get the data: Citizen Science. Agencies have the historical record, but community recording at critical points along our creeks can highlight stresses, show progress and what action is needed, and educate our communities about how the creeks are faring.
Improve water quality up-stream. Western Water wants to expand capacity at Riddell’s treatment plant. What incentives could it offer to landholders, and where, to improve water quality up-stream? Can we afford to let people fly in the face of standards and requirements, reducing flows and compromising stream health downstream? How do we get compliance to what has already been judged essential to care for our waterways?
Make promises transparent. The community has longer memories than government. That comes down to a few people, admittedly, but these are people who know what was studied, recommended, promised. Let’s address the long game being played, and lift the heat on the promises.
Get more people in the front door. Environmental volunteering effort is falling as a percentage of overall volunteering effort. At the same time, there are people who want a stronger connection to nature, and who want to make a difference to the environment.
Let’s create opportunities for more people to join in. Who is ready to contribute? How do we give them a way in? The committed few will stay the course, but let’s share the love and bring others in.