Rediscovering our Creek

The lost creek came back into shared community consciousness in two ways.

In 2010, Grant of Hungerford Rd started a PhD thesis with the aim of reinvigorating the local community to help it cope with an uncertain future. He started with a letter-box drop asking people what they knew about the history of the valley and what they would like to see for its future. He interviewed over 80 residents, and one of the older residents mentioned that she had played in a creek as a child, about where the Buckley Reserve playground is now, before the valley was filled in with a rubbish tip. It was a revelation.

As the community started connecting together, Ian and Kate of Buckley Rd shared a dream they had that the small stream near the Buckley Reserve playground that is diverted to pipes under the landfill, could once again flow on the surface. This, along with the contribution of several other unburied springs would make a creditable water flow into the area Ian and Kate had been planting as a wetland.

These two discoveries fast evolved into the concept of Lifting the Creek; not just rescuing the open springs in the lower valley, but any stream water from further up as well. As the residents looked into the whole infrastructure system, it became clear that all the valley’s stormwater and overland water from the hillsides was also entering the pipes and becoming needlessly contaminated.

In February 2012 the creek returned symbolically as a 250 metre mown and white-painted strip, a feature of a community organised archaeological dig. The line traced the original bed of the creek, and seeing it painted on the surface of the landfill not only introduced others in the community to its existence underground, but produced quite heart-felt emotions in many.