EcoCentre September & October News

In this Issue: Trash Puppets /Seedlings Available / Become a Member / Education News / EcoCentre Events / Affiliate Events / Volunteering / Other Events
("Rubbish"... get it??)

We are very excited to announce our brand new collaboration with Trash Puppets, consisting of Jhess Knight, creative brain and professional puppeteer, Lucy Hedt, community engagement and marketing guru and their merry band of puppeteers.
Trash Puppets is aiming to educate both children and adults on the concepts of sustainability, with a particular focus on waste. They use creative workshops and interactive performances to highlight the importance of wasting less and recycling more. Activities can be held at the EcoCentre, or their team of creative facilitators can travel to your area for workshops on location.

All this also means that faciliated zero-waste birthday parties are back at the EcoCentre! In this puppet making workshop participants will learn how to make their very own puppet using recycled/reused materials with the EcoCentre's philosophy of zero waste. This style of event is suitable for all ages (are you paying attention, hen's party organisers?) 

Have a look at the promo video below, and check out the Trash Puppets website for more information.
The EcoCentre garden is getting ready for spring by growing for the community. Our team of volunteers is now offering EcoCentre-grown seedlings for a small donation, for you to take home and grow in your own garden, balcony or windowsill. 

The edible plants offered are grown from seed saved from the EcoCentre garden and are heirloom species. This means that you can save the seed from the plants at home as well and keep growing the same healthy, delicious vegetables every year. We believe our community's food security is important and access to healthy, fresh, affordable food is a human right. 

Find our seedling stall inside the Herbert St/Blessington St entrance to the St Kilda Botanical gardens, open during daylight hours. 100% of the donations is used to keep the community garden going.

We realise this sounds a bit strange, but did you know toilet and paper towel rolls and paper make the best biodegradable, plastic-free seedling pots? If you have any left-over, feel free to deposit them in the signed box in the garden.
Do you love your community, adore the wildlife in your area and do you care about what happens in your local environment? Then consider becoming an EcoCentre member. The EcoCentre has been your central community environment hub for 15 years, supporting local environmental groups and initiatives, advocating on behalf of Port Phillip Bay and educating young and old on how to live more sustainable lives. We ask for your support in making this positive change happen.

By becoming a member you:
  • Contribute to the health of Port Phillip Bay and its unique wildlife
  • Show your support for our social inclusion programs, like engaging youth in environmental work and running the weekly garden team
  • Join the movement that is taking action on climate change
  • Support the environmental education and sustainability leadership development of children
  • Enable us to be a voice for your community in government inquiries on environmental issues
  • Support citizen science and research projects that contribute to government policy changes
  • Connect with a network of passionate people and organisations that are dedicated to creating a livable future...
... and much, much more.

Support your EcoCentre! Become a member HERE
For the 10th year in a row, the annual Sustainable Schools Festival was a great success, with a record number of students attending the afternoon activities at the EcoCentre.

The morning was spent at St Kilda Town Hall, where the students ran workshops for each other under the Kids Teaching Kids program. Thirteen different schools from City of Port Phillip, Bayside City Council, Glen Eira Council and Stonnington Council were represented, but it was Beaumaris Primary School who won the first prize for completing their Energy Module of the ResourceSmart Schools program. They won a fabulous outdoor bench by Replas, made from recycled plastic bags. Their next target is to eliminate waste from their school. 

The fun continued at the EcoCentre in the afternoon, where volunteers from the garden team cooked up a soup storm and the students made their own salads with organic produce from the garden like Young Masterchefs. Arweet Carolyn Briggs and Boon Wurrung Foundation educators facilitated a smoking ceremony and storytelling session. In the Botanic Gardens the students went on adventurous bush walks with EcoCentre educators, learned about bush tucker and held picnics. What a fantastic day!

A big shout out to our amazing volunteers Eileen, Eva, Paula, Paul, Adrienne and Sam, for their hard work. The Schools Festival could not have happened without you, so thank you.

Thank you also to our main sponsors: City of Port Phillip , Bayside City Council, Target Kids Teaching Kids Week
And to our generous community prize sponsors:
Elwood Community Bank Branch, South Melbourne Market, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Going Green Solutions, Bunnings Warehouse Port Melbourne, Kotch Lane, Claypots St Kilda, The Leaf Store ElwoodLush, Shop Ethical!, Lopees Environmentally Reusable Envelopes, SKINC, CrossFit Balaclava, My Green Lunchbox, Sustainable Table, Dr. Jekyll, Cool Australia, Replas 

Slow Gardening
Sunday 20 September & 18 October
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Welcome to spring! Community gardening is back on the third Sunday of the month. Come down for a few hours of gardening in the slow lane and meet our wonderful garden team.

School Holiday Shell Survey
Wednesday 23 September
10:00 am, Kerferd Rd Pier, Middle park
Join the Baykeeper on a shell survey, learning the secrets of Port Phillip Bay and its miniature residents. BOOKINGS essential.

Step into Spring - guided walk
Sunday 27 September
5:00 - 6:30 pm
Meet at the EcoCentre and get to know the common wildlife residents and stately trees of the St Kilda Botanic Gardens on this guided tour. Your entry ticket goes towards support for Gio in his role as Youth Wildlife Ambassador. 


Trash Puppets School Holiday Workshops
Wednesday 30 September
10:00 am - 12 noon, or
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Trash Puppets workshops teach participants how to make their very own trash puppet using 100% recycled/reused materials. Creating something new, unique and special from what others may deem to be “trash” sends the message that we can waste less and recycle. Suitable for ages 5 - 100 yrs. Cost: $25                 BOOK HERE

Point Ormond Shell Survey
Thursday 1 October
1:00 pm - Point Ormond (top of the hill)
Join the Baykeeper on a shell survey, learning the secrets of Port Phillip Bay and its miniature residents. BOOKINGS essential.

Melbourne Downunder
Monday 5 October
Time to be confirmed

Join us for a viewing of this amazing new documentary at Republica Bar in St Kilda. It will be the first time screened next to the bay that it's been inspired by! 

Stick around after for a Q&A with your one and only Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake.

Watch this space for the confirmation of the event and screening time.

Seniors Festival - Guided walk
Friday 16 October
9:30 am - 12 noon
Explore the interesting world of fungi, plants, indigenous flora, wildlife and the history of St Kilda Botanic Gardens with botanist and educator Peter Kelly. Start with a cuppa and cake at the EcoCentre. City of Port Phillip Open Spaces Landscape Architect Christa Mitchell will join the walk to inform participants about the new pond and accompanying landscaping. If wet weather, talk and morning tea will go ahead in the EcoCentre.
BOOKINGS: or ring ASSIST 9209 6777

EcoCentre Annual General Meeting
Sunday 25 October
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

EcoCentre Basic and Green members: save the date for the EcoCentre's AGM. We will provide lunch and our speaker will be announced soon. Stay tuned for your official invite in your inboxes by the end of September.

Earthcare St Kilda

The Earthcare St Kilda volunteer penguin guides are back, starting 4 October on the St Kilda breakwater. We need all the guides we can get to protect our little penguins and educate the public. No prior knowledge of penguins necessary, only consistent availability for one shift per fortnight. 
Training session: Saturday 19 September from 10 am - noon at the EcoCentre
Sign up by emailing Kitty on

Friends of Westgate Park
Bushcare Major Day Out

Sunday 13 September
Anytime between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Friends are planting the park and would love your help! Turn up anytime and meet at the BBQ shelter in the park, 100m from the Todd Road (Port Melbourne) entrance. Wear old clothes, sturdy & closed foot wear and dress for the weather. For info, contact Tony on 0400 770 254

Port Phillip BUG - Wind in your Sails
Sunday 27 September, 9:15 am

A cycling, learn to sail adventure day brought to you by Port Phillip BUG and Albert Park Yacht Club. MORE INFO AND BOOKINGS

City of Port Phillip
Walk to School Month - 
Walk to School month encourages primary students to walk to and from school to build healthy habits for life. The City of Port Phillip offers schools a $200 subsidy per term to encourage kids to walk to school. The subsidy could be used to give weekly spot prizes, hold a competition or an event. To apply contact or ring 9209 6274.

Port Phillip BUG - Wild Warburton Wanderer
Saturday 17 October, 8:00 am

The Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail is an iconic 40 km recreation trail which travels past vineyards, beautiful mountain scenery, farmlands and forests. This is an overnight trip!  MORE INFO AND BOOKINGS

Do you have good administrative skills and are you looking to get experience in the not-for-profit sector? Do you talk the talk and walk the walk? The EcoCentre is still looking for a second, environmentally conscious administrative volunteer to join our team. You must be able to commit for at least 4 months of regular volunteering during weekdays. Hours and days are negotiable. For more information and to send your CV, contact Fam at or 9534 0670.

Who would like to run the EcoCentre stall at Spring into Gardening in Stonnington, at this lovely festival on Sunday 11 October? They're even going totally plastic bag free this year! 2-3 people would be great. Having a car would also be good, to bring seedlings, promo materials and an A-frame. 
Activities: sell seedlings, talk about the EcoCentre garden, promote EcoCentre membership and be your sparkly self! Email

Also on Sunday 11 October is this Open House Day with market. We are looking for 2 volunteers who would like to lead worm activities at our stall. What does this mean? Well, imagine bringing some of our worm farm worms on tour and showing them to interested visitors, while talking about how they make our gardens healthy. Selling some seedlings and promoting EcoCentre memberships will also be part of the activity. Email if you're interested.
Sustainable House & Garden Day
Visit Helen's House in Elsternwick
13 September
Ride2Work Day
14 October
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