A WEED-infested stretch of the Bendigo Creek is being transformed with plants that likely flourished there before European colonisation.
Traditional owners the Dja Dja Wurrung are leading efforts to improve the creek's flow through two areas in White Hills after a century-and-a-half of modifications.
While the creek cannot be returned to its original course, the Dja Dja Wurrung is making changes to help water mimic the kind of movement it would have once made between the area's now vanished billabongs.
Last week, culturally significant food and fibre species were being planted a stretch of the creek at Koomba Street.
The project has already seen frog ponds set up nearby that are attracting native wildlife, Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation CEO Rodney Carter said.
"You go down there now and you can hear the invertebrates and frogs calling," he said.
"We have staff members who have been tracking water quality and it has improved."
Stage two of the project includes creating a rocky creek bed that help aerate water by creating artificial eddies and ripple effects, mimicking the way undeveloped water bodies force liquid to swirl, Mr Carter said.
Dja Dja Wurrung elder Marilynne Nicholls works within the project to provide important cultural knowledge.
"It's great the ... traditional owners of central Victoria remain at the forefront of caring and healing Djandak (Country) and the waterways, the way our Ancestors had done centuries before," Aunty Marilynne said.
Mr Carter said he would one day like to see more stretches of the creek returned to something approaching its original flow.
"We'd love to have a think about ways we can pick off a reach (section of creek) and have a crack at doing a complete restoration," he said.
The Dja Dja Wurrung has not yet identified any new areas that it would like to see changed, but would consider other sections that had been modified since European settlement, Mr Carter said.
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