In the 1950s it was common for people to swim and catch fish in Campbells Creek.  The establishment of the Castlemaine waste water treatment plant in the 1960s halted all that as the effluent quality was so poor. 

Until the early 1980s, there was little interest in Castlemaine’s creeks as a recreational resource or for its habitat values.  From then, Castlemaine community members lobbied and built support, culminating in a 1986 Commonwealth Employment Program funding six full time employees for six months in a project called ‘The Castlemaine Revegetation Project’.  This was auspiced by the City of Castlemaine.  This project was the first known attempt to improve the biological values of the creeks and surrounding envelope of riparian land.  It was also the first to engage with the education community, involving Winters Flat Primary School students, parents and teachers in planting and interpretive exercises. 

We continue our community engagement, extending our contact with schools to Campbells Creek Primary School, Olivet Christian College and Castlemaine Secondary College, Winter Flat Primary School and kindergartens. 

Our group runs monthly working bees to which all are welcome.  These usually feature some aspect of environmental education.

Perhaps our most important means of engagement with the wider community is the Campbells Creek Primary Trail, initiated by our group in 2001.  Mount Alexander Shire Council adopted this idea and constructed most of the trail by 2010.  The trail opens up a large proportion of previously inaccessible creek-side public land to walkers and cyclists and is well patronised. 

We have installed interpretive signs at several points along the trail.  These help people appreciate the natural values present along the waterways and surrounding land.

Our group is still advocating for the completion of the 400 m ‘missing link’ in the trail.