Volunteers go with the FLOW by Kate Sears

A wander along Boggy Creek in Langwarrin prompted Suzie Webster to form Friends of Langwarrin Outdoors and Waterways (FLOW).  Suzie was on her daily afternoon walk with her mum and toddler when they became increasingly frustrated by how bad rubbish and pollution was in the area.


“Then one day we saw some brand-new ducklings trying to swim around and over plastic bags, bottles and Styrofoam balls,” Suzie said.  “Just like that we went and started picking it up each week. We then decided that we needed to actually start a group so we could have more people helping us as the problem was too big for us.”

FLOW’s four main members - Suzie, her mum, Nicole and Wayne - are supported regularly by eight other volunteers, and Suzie’s toddler Max even joins in on the mission. The group’s biggest concern is the Langwarrin environment and the encroaching development on open spaces, and its main goal is to protect and conserve the environment of Langwarrin as well as educate the community and motivate people to get on board.

“We have a vast array of wildlife in Langwarrin and we are losing so much of their habitat. The impact that litter is having on the environment is a huge concern also.”

FLOW’s next big clean-up is on Sunday, September 24, from 10am-noon and will focus on Boggy Creek and the area around Lloyd Park, where the group collected a disgusting total of 418kg of rubbish during Clean Up Australia Day last March.  Everyone is welcome to get involved, and there will be a barbecue lunch afterwards for the volunteers.

FLOW targets areas for clean-ups as well as other issues as they are brought to its attention by other nature lovers. The group is currently fighting the potential subdivision of Cruden Farm as well as the development of 16 units that are planned for the edge of Boggy Creek in Athol Court, Langwarrin.  It successfully lobbied for wildlife crossing signs in several areas in Langwarrin as well as the installation of extra rubbish bins, and it regularly consults VicRoads and Frankston Council regarding the state of roadsides covered in litter and the illegal dumping of rubbish.

“We are also trying to ban the use of plastic ‘donation’ bags for clothing collections, as the bags end up in the waterways and the clothes end up strewn across the roads.”

To become aware of the environmental issues affecting us and to join FLOW’s spring clean-up, make sure to follow the group on Facebook @FLOWenvironmentalgroup.  We must look after where we live!