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Check out some of the featured articles for the summer season Greenwrap newsletter.

Community Calendar
Community News
Community Leaders in Sustainability Course
Ride to Work Day
Malahang Festival
Environmental Sustainable Grants
Energy Workshops for Older Adults
State of the Environment Report 2017/2018
Victorian Volunteer Plan
Backyard Bird Count
The Great Victorian Fish Count
Nature Play
Bushland Diaries
Yarra 2
Darebin Creek
Yarra 1

Welcome to the summer edition of the Greenwrap newsletter

Christmas, beach, cherries and wildflowers. What’s not to like. It's starting to warm up and the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a hotter than average summer, so keep a reusable water bottle with you, check in on neighbours and follow Vic Emergency on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with emergency responses around the state.

A big thank you to the many environmental volunteers in Banyule who have worked hard all year to protect and enhance the biodiversity of our natural space and to those delivering workshops, education material and vegie swaps helping to grow our community.   

Merry Christmas.

Alex Sibbison photography (Highest quality) Yarra River 1.jpg

Community Calendar

December 2018 

Friday 7 December - Friends of Salt Creek and Associated Parklands
Final meeting of the year. BYO simple dinner to share at the main playground in Rosanna Parkland. Discussing creek health and new ideas for 2019.
Contact: Robyn Ball 0400 669 128 

Sunday 10 December - Friends of Salt Creek and Associated Parklands
Working bee. Meet at the butterfly garden near the central playground. Weeding and mulching followed by a Christmas morning tea. 
9am - 11am

Wednesday 12 December - Sustainable Watsonia
Zero Waste Community Lunch, all welcome. Bring something to share for lunch and have a chat about the challenges and successes of zero waste living. A food swap will be on so bring any extra produce you would like to swap.
For more information click HERE

Thursday 13 December - Sustainable Homes and Communities
Community Leaders in Sustainability Course Information Night at Council Chambers, Darebin City Council, 350 High Street Preston.
6pm - 8pm
For more information and to book your free tickets click HERE.

Saturday 15 December - Sustainable Macleod
Vegie swap at Macleod Village
For more information click HERE

Sunday 16 December - St John's Riverside
Community gardening get together.
For more information click HERE

Alex Sibbison photography (Highest quality) Yarra River 2.jpg

January 2019

Wednesday 9 January
Banyule City Council - Nature Play at Partington's Flat, Greensborough
Check out the Banyule Banner for booking details. 

Thursday 17 January
Banyule City Council - Nature Play at Yallambie Park
Check out the Banyule Banner for booking details. 

Saturday 19 January
Sustainable Macleod
Vegie swap at Macleod Village
For more information click HERE

Sunday 20 January
St John's Riverside Community gardening get together
For more information click HERE

Alex Sibbison photography (Highest quality) Yarra River 3.jpg

February 2019

Saturday 16 February
Sustainable Macleod - Vegie Swap at Macleod Village
For more information click HERE

Sunday 17 February
St John's Riverside Community gardening get together
For more information click HERE

Sunday 24 February
Sustainable Watsonia food swap and talk on 'The benefits of weeds in compost' with Marina Bistrin
For more information click HERE

Community News

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New transition movement members Sustainable Watsonia!

Sustainable Watsonia is a new project of Watsonia Neighbourhood House, demonstrating that Watsonia Neighbourhood House is committed to providing opportunity for community members to join together and build a more sustainable and resilient community.

Sustainable Watsonia has held food swaps, talks and an open day showcasing sustainable living initiatives. Our very first pilot repair café was held in October and was an outstanding success. At the repair café community members brought items from home to be fixed by volunteers. There was lots of skill sharing and generosity on the day resulting in approximately 20 kg saved from landfill and many items fixed. The flow on effect of this great initiative is that people learn how to repair and re use things rather than buying new. 

For more information click here

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The all new Salt Creek Sweepers

Sweeping Salt Creek in Rosanna Parklands for litter in the hour before the Friends of Salt Creek and Associated Parklands working bees. Gloves, bags and glasses provided. The more the merrier. Keep your eye on the website for 2019 dates. 

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Why not use old newspapers or reusable fabric to wrap presents, much less waste and you can be more creative!

  • Shop local, so your presents don’t have to travel too far. The many Makers Markets happening give you the added benefit of supporting local designers and artists.
  • Make a Christmas Tree or decorate a pot plant.  
  • Having Christmas at your house? Why not get extra crockery from your local Op-Shop, then you’ll always have spare plates on hand and the world doesn’t need to make something new.
  • Reuse old Christmas cards for gift tags. 

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Community Leaders in Sustainability Course information Session

Want to influence sustainability and lead local action in your community?

Darebin and Banyule are offering a free 12 week course on project management, resourcing and communication for local environmental community projects. The course starts in February 2019 and finishes in April 2019.

Join us at this Information Session on Thursday 13 December at 6pm to find out more about the Community Leaders in Sustainability course. You will hear about Council's environmental strategies and get some direction on project ideas.

Participants can apply as an individual or as a team, so if you have a project idea and a friend, colleague or community group who is also interested, bring them along to the information session.

Course participants need to live, work or study in Darebin or Banyule. We encourage existing community groups to apply.

The Information Session are free and will be held at Darebin City Council, Council Chambers, 350 High Street, Preston.

For more information click here

For bookings click here

Banyule celebrates Ride to Work Day in October 

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Council celebrated the commuter cyclist on 17 October at the 2018 community breakfast for Ride2Work Day. Despite early rain, the morning was well attended by staff, Councillors and local workers enjoying fruit, pastries and free coffee provided by Wheelys, a cargo-bike-based barista service.

Cycle House Greensborough also provided a demonstrator e-bike for test rides. It was fantastic to see how many attendees had a go at riding and were pleased at the ease and enjoyment of using these bikes. E-bikes form part of the pool fleets operated by neighbouring municipalities including Darebin and Boroondara. While e-bikes consume more energy than traditional bikes, the amount is very small, making them a more eco-friendly choice of transport compared with motorbikes or cars. This allows riders to cover more distance and tackle hilly terrain in a timely manner – all with zero tail-pipe emissions.

Malahang Festival Fun - November 2018 

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Malahang Festival was a fantastic day out. There were snake displays, paper making, water bugs and plant giveaways. The environment display was visited by curious kids and adults who know the importance of protecting out local natural spaces. 

2018 Environmental Sustainability Grants 

Congratulations to the Environmental Sustainability Grants recipients who received their grants formally on Thursday 22 November from Mayor Wayne Phillips and Councillors Tom Melican and Peter Castaldo. Here is a full list of recipients.
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Banyule Clean Energy Group accept their grant for three Energy Workshops.  


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Che Hall receives her grant for six  inspirational waste education videos. 


Energy Workshop for older residents

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Victorian Energy Compare visited Banyule in November to hold a Energy Workshop for older residents. Participants learnt how to read confusing bills, tips to reduce energy bills and consumption and how to use the Victorian Energy Compare Website. 

Victorian Energy Compare is offering a $50 Power Saving Bonus to any Victorian who compares their energy retailer online. You don't have to change retailers, you just need to go through their website and compare what else is out there. 

For a great range of energy saving tips, visit Sustainability Victoria

State of the Environment Report 2017/18

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The state of the Environment Report for 2017/18 is almost ready for release, look out for a copy at Council Service Centres and libraries before Christmas, a digital copy will be available on our website.

Some highlights;

  • Over 1000 Banyule residents of all ages were engaged in our annual biodiversity programs.
  • A total of 802 trees and 21,433 understory plants were planted by our Bush Crew and Friends of groups.
  • Council emissions are down 6%
  • 52 nominations were received for the significant tree register. 

Victorian Volunteer Plan 

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In October 2018 the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released Victorians Volunteering for Nature – Environmetal Volunteer Plan.

Victoria has a strong history of environmental volunteering, with volunteers contributing enormously to improving our environment, our local communities and our economy.

However the nature and extent of the volunteer sector is changing. Victorians are still committed to volunteering but in a way that suits their lifestyle. Changing demographics, different social needs and increasing legal and administrative requirements affect how environmental groups operate and how they reach, retain and recruit volunteers.

The new Environmental Volunteer Plan addresses the challenges and the changing needs of the volunteering sector.

For further information on the Environmental Volunteering Plan email

Birdlife Australia - Backyard Bird Count 

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Initial results from the Aussie Backyard Bird count are in with 700 checklists being submitted in Banyule for a total of 19,628 birds counted. Our busiest bird counters were in the 3084 postcode with 171 checklists submitted and 5,435 birds counted. 

The Great Victorian Fish Count

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If the Bird Life Australia Backyard Bird Count wasn’t enough, there’s an equally awesome citizen science program for our amphibious friends.

The 2018 Great Victorian Fish Count runs from 17 November to 16 December for those who like to dive in the depths. 

Nature Play 

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Banyule has continued to deliver nature play events across the municipality in 2018. The Environment team partners with Bushland Management, Leisure and Culture and Youth and Family services to deliver seven Nature Play events a year. This year, we have tried to align the events with the seven seasons of the Wurundjeri culture. An event is held in each Council Ward. These have included Darebin Forest Park in Heidelberg West on Sunday 26 August, (52 attendees) Sunday 7 September at Banyule Flats, (85 attendees) and Friday 9 November in Wilson Reserve Ivanhoe (30 attendees).

Further Nature play dates have been added to the Community Calendar and booking details are avalable in the Banner. 

Bushland Diaries

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On Friday 16 November, the Bushland Management Team headed out west to Keilor to explore Flora Victoria’s native seed farm. When the crew got there, we were greeted by the owners Chris and Graeme (and his dog Wiinie!) who directed us to a lovely shady spot down along the banks of the Maribyrnong River to have our lunch. There we sat under a big old remnant River Red Gum, rainbow lorikeets nesting in its hollows, while Chris introduced us to the cutting edge restoration work they are undertaking throughout the Victorian Volcanic Plains of Victoria.

The site is an old market garden which has been converted into a native seed farm boasting approximately 12 species of native grass which is grown on mass to provide ecological restoration projects throughout the volcanic plains of Victoria. This seed is used in lieu of standard planting which has been the traditional way of restoring vegetation. Sites are sprayed over many years or scalped to reduce weed seed. They are then sown with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers to create amazing landscapes and habitat for an array of animals.

The bush crew were enthusiastic about this new way to restore ecosystems and look forward to implementing this technique on suitable sites throughout Banyule’s bushland reserves. 

Yarra 2

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In December 2017 the Bushland Management Team together with the Country Fire Authority conducted an ecological burn at St Helena Bush Reserve. Since the burn vegetation has re sprouted and we have noticed regeneration occurring. We have been hand weeding and burning the site since the burn. In recent days we observed a Small Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea minor subsp. lutea) flowering. Grass trees are endemic to Australia. The Small Grass Tree lacks a trunk. The leaves of this species grows from one or more underground stems. Fire stimulates flowering. When in flower, the spear of the plant attracts nectar feeding bees, ants and butterflies.

Darebin Creek

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It has been a busy time for the Darebin Creek Bushland Team. The Banyule Northern Grasslands are teeming with wildflowers such as Wahlenbergia luteola (Bronze Blue-bells), Dianella amoena (Matted flax – lily) and Vittadinia muelleri (New Holland Daisy). Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass) is popping its gorgeous purplish, brown heads up throughout the reserve creating a stunning colourful landscape. This reserve is located in Heidelberg West at the corner of Dougharty Road and Liberty Parade and is a fantastic place for a weekend walk. The informal loop track is 2km long and takes about 20 minutes. While you are out there have a look at our new interpretative signage. These signs provide a colourful entrance to the reserve, while also providing an opportunity for park users to learn about this endangered ecosystem. 

Yarra 1

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The 2018 Eltham Copper Butterfly (ECB) caterpillar counts at Andrew Yandell Habitat Reserve have been our most successful on record.

In the areas where the Bushland Management Team have been concentrating their efforts to thin overabundant and out of balance mid-storey, the ECB caterpillar numbers have increased dramatically. With the help of more than 30 volunteers over seven nights, this year we counted 367 caterpillars up from 166 last year.

One area that had been an extremely popular habitat for the ECBs back in 2004 has had no caterpillars counted in it since 2012. Over the last three years we have worked on finding the right balance of suitable management to provide the open structure the ECBs and Notoncus ants need to call Yandell’s home.

With disappointing results for the last two years we realised that our thinning work had been overly cautious. We’ve learned that to provide the right habitat for the ECBs and Notoncus ants, the host plant Bursaria spinosa, Sweet Bursaria, needs to be cut at ground level, along with removal of excessive Acacia and Cassinia species, to provide more sunlight and space. When the mid-storey is too dense, the ground layer becomes too damp and cold. This forces the Notoncus ants, which the caterpillar cannot live without, to find accommodation elsewhere.

The area we’d been working on, experimenting with the right form of thinning, yielded an amazing 43 caterpillars, finally showing us how we can help the endangered species.

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