Meet the rangers

Peter Wiltshire, head ranger

Ranger Pete. Photo courtesy of Anthony Jones

How long have you worked in the parklands for? 26 years; 22 as senior honcho

What is your role and what does it entail?

The development and management of Darebin Parklands environmental education and leachate treatment and management. Administration and management of DCMC.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

My favourite section is Ivanhoe wetlands. My best moment is a toss up between building Ivanhoe wetlands 1992 or building Mt Puffalo 1998. Too many great moments to choose from.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Compose and orchestrate music in a pathetic effort to be like Andrew Lloyd Webber

Katy Marriott, ranger

How long have you worked in the parklands for? 

Since July 2014

What is your role and what does it entail?

My role is  primarily vegetation management, general park maintenance and working with the dedicated volunteers of the parkland.   A lot of my time is spent on  weed management to allow the regeneration of native species. I love the activity over winter-spring getting all our indigenous plants in the ground.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

Snake Grass. This is a beautiful remnant area in the northwest corner of the park that I have been focusing on. I have been removing all the weeds which then allows natives to  germinate. Ivanhoe Wetland is pretty special too, there are always a huge number of birds around there, I recently spotted a pair of Gang-gang Cockatoos there.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Adventuring around Victoria, snorkelling and hiking or hanging out in Melbourne seeing bands and drinking coffee.

Peter Grenfell, project officer

How long have you worked in the parklands for?

Since 2008.

What is your role and what does it entail?

As project officer, I assist the Darebin Creek Coordinator in working with various stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes for all waterways and adjacent bushland in the Darebin Creek Catchment. A major part of my job is raising community awareness and education about creek health issues.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

I love working with the school students that visit the parklands, doing Waterwatch-based stormwater education activities.

Probably my favourite parklands moment was during a recent spotlighting night when I saw two tawny frogmouths involved in a fierce fight. In fact, seeing shy wildlife in the parklands including a rakali (native water rat), a huge short-finned eel and a powerful owl, is always a thrill.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Reading, training for triathlons (though I'm no athlete!), and barracking for the Pies.

Julia Vanderoord, Waterwatch coordinator

Waterwatch coordinator Julia Vanderoord

How long have you worked in the Darebin catchment for?

I have worked in the catchment and with the Darebin Parklands teams since 2003 first as a project officer at Whittlesea Council, planning environment events, then since 2005 as the North East Melbourne Waterwatch Coordinator. A while now, but it pales into insignificance when you look at the years that Pete W has put in!

What is your role and what does it entail?

The Waterwatch program has been running for almost 20 years now and its main aims are to connect communities with their local rivers, creeks and wetlands. The idea being if people spend time at their local waterway, learn more about its ecology, and help to increase its habitat and water quality values, the waterway will become a healthier ecological system in the long run. I run free activities for communities by the river bank, including water bug discoveries, frog walks and water testing. I also train and supply water testing kits for anyone interested in learning more about their waterways. All this water testing “data” is stored on an online system that anyone can download. To view the Darebin Catchment Waterwatch water quality data all you have to do is go to www.vic.waterwatch.org.au and click on the “View Data” icon on the front page. This data has been collected by many dedicated groups and individuals over the years, many of them volunteering at the parklands.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

I love Pobblebonk Pond because it has amazing frog and aquatic macro invertebrate (water bug) life after some good rain and spring weather. Best parkland moment – wow so many – possibly the time on a spotlight walk when I spotlighted a powerful owl with a scout group. That was amazing!!

What do you like to do outside of work?

Yoga – at the great Alphington Community Centre around the corner from the parklands! Bike riding, learning Spanish, Italian and Dutch languages, travel, salsa dance, watching foreign films (mainly Spanish and Italian of course) and cooking dinners from my veggie garden ingredients for friends and family.