EcoCentre April News

In this Issue: Well Waters Project / Welcome Beach Patrol / Schools & Community Education News / Nature Playweek / EcoCentre April events / Volunteering / Other local events
WELL WATERS PROJECT - Strengthening community and environment
What if we told you that you can earn money by volunteering, and use this money to help out a neighbour, a school, a local business or yourself by receiving a rebate on a rain tank or waterwise garden? It nearly sounds too good to be true, except that it's actually true! 

This latest EcoCentre project provides the community and environment supporters of the Elster Creek catchment area with a chance to get rebates on the installation of rain tanks and waterwise gardens for their homes, businesses and local schools. The Well Waters project aims to mitigate the effects of Elster Creek floods, while improving habitat for over 200 local wildlife species, and bringing the community closer together.

Not eligible for a rebate, but still want to help the community and the environment? No worries! You can still volunteer in some of the super fun activities and donate your earned credits to anyone who is participating. 

We are especially looking for individual households to apply for a rebate. To check your eligibility, volunteering opportunities and other information, visit 

The Well Waters project is sponsored by the Victorian Government
Litter and plastic pollution are everybody's problem, and the members of EcoCentre's newest affiliate group Beach Patrol Australia know this better than anyone. Organised by postcode, Beach Patrol volunteers clean up their local beach once a month and enjoy a social cuppa afterwards. They are also partnered with the EcoCentre for the State Government's Litter Hotspots project "Turn Off The Tap", providing us with valuable litter data from the Bay's beaches. We are excited to support and work with them. Welcome, Beach Patrol Australia!

Can you spare an hour of your time per month to help out? Visit the website to find out which group operates in your postcode area and join for free.

Is your community group interested in strengthening the community environment network? Then consider becoming affiliated with the EcoCentre and reap partnership benefits for your group, your hard work and the environment. More information on affiliation.
Students at Albert Park Primary School learnt about nurdles last year when they were in Grade 5. The students engaged in a unit that focussed on pollution in the marine environment and took action by conducting litter audits in Bridport Street and nurdle and shell surveys at Albert Park Beach.  In 2015, students independently began picking up nurdles when they were at the beach for life saving activities. 
As Jodhi's mum Julie wrote, 
"The idea to attend was entirely their own so it was great to see them taking their roles as school leaders beyond the school. We collected about 3 kg of rubbish in 45 minutes! The rubbish consisted mostly of plastic straws, chocolate bar wrappers, plastic lids and cigarette butts. The girls were particularly interested in searching for small beads of plastic which make up a surprising amount of the sand. They found 113 beads! The girls met up with a group from Beach Patrol 3206 who were taking part in Cleanup Australia Day."
It is great to see young people building on their experiences of caring for the environment by taking independent action.

Kids do better outside! Victoria's annual Nature Playweek will kick off on Saturday with activities all over Victoria.

Over the past 30 years, children have moved indoors and screen spaces have replaced green places. Use of television, computers, the internet and smartphones, increased parental fear, poor urban planning and more highly structured play and supervision keep kids from playing outside.

This change in the experience of and exposure to nature has led to a gradual distancing between our kids and the natural world and has profound implications for the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health of future generations – and for the health of nature itself. Nature Playweek's organiser Kids in Nature Network aims to stimulate children and their families to spend more time outside, immersed in nature.

Getting your kids involved in Nature Play doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming, it can be as simple as a visit to the local park where the kids can roam free. Check out the EcoCentre events below for Nature Playweek activities, or visit the Nature Playweek's website for more options near you.


Baykeeper Shell Survey
Saturday 11 April, 1 PM

Join the Port Phillip Baykeeper at Point Ormond and learn the secrets of the Bay's miniature creatures. This is a Nature Playweek event for all ages.

Cost: $10/$5 kids, BOOKINGS essential.

Elwood Plants & Animals Walk
Saturday 18 April, 12:30 PM

During Nature Play Week, bring your family to learn about our wild neighbours with fur, feathers, fins or photosynthesis.

Cost: $10/$5 kids
BOOKINGS essential

Monthly Community Gardening
Sunday 26 April, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Like to garden? Our friendly garden team invites you to come and get your hands dirty. Plant a seed, socialise with your local community and ask your burning gardening questions.

Location: EcoCentre community garden

Botanical Dyeing Workshop
Saturday 6 June, 10 AM - 3 PM

The City of Port Phillip and Belinda Evans from Alchemy have partnered to bring you a truly unique crafts workshop in fabric dyeing with native plants. A delicious lunch is included! 

Proceeds are donated to the EcoCentre. MORE INFO


We are looking for regular, dedicated volunteers who are interested in organic gardening on Fridays. Experience in and knowledge of gardening is favorable, but not a necessity. Being reliable and a team-player are! Tasks are: watering, weeding, propagation, composting, worm farming, mulching and general site maintenance.
Check out our volunteer page for more information.

Do you know about propagating seed the organic way? Have time on Fridays and are willing to commit to regular volunteering? Then we would love to meet you! Our fantastic garden team is looking for someone to take on seed propagation as a special project, and who is willing to share their skills with others. Please contact

The small and cosy tea garden at the Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre could sure use some love. PMNC is looking for a volunteer with a green thumb to regularly water, weed and provide some love to the plants. Contact or ring Elaine on 9645 1476.
Copyright © 2015 Port Phillip EcoCentre, All rights reserved.

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