EcoCentre December & January News


In this Issue: EcoCentre's birthday party / Visitor Centre early summer break / Schools & Community Education News / Sensible Christmas Shopping / EcoCentre December & January events / BUG bike rides with a twist / Volunteering / Other local events
WHAT'S NEW AT YOUR ECOCENTRE
ECOCENTRE'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
EcoCentre turned 15 in November! Yep, that's 15 years of working for the environment and supporting community action. We could not have done this without the help of our supporters. That means YOU! So join us for a celebration with music, nibbles and drinks in the EcoHouse garden. 

Date: Friday 5 December
Time: from 5 PM
Place: EcoCentre garden


Please bring a plate of food to share (BBQ will be available). Some food and a few beverages will be provided, but if you would like to drink some more, feel free to BYO. And of course, don't forget to bring your instruments if you play any!

Let us know you are coming by registering HERE

EARLY CHRISTMAS CLOSE OF THE VISITOR CENTRE
After 4 years of running the EcoCentre's visitor centre, our amazing Visitor Engagement Officer Paula is ready to undertake new adventures. This means that the visitor centre has closed early for Christmas, until further notice in the new year. But don't panic: our staff are still working behind the scenes and looking forward to starting brand new big projects in the new year. 
SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY EDUCATION NEWS
It was a great day at Rickett's Point Marine Sanctuary for students learning about marine life in Port Phillip Bay. 27 students from Stella Maris Primary School, Beaumaris Primary School and St Joseph's Primary School in Black Rock donned their hats and walking shoes for the day. Dean Stewart from the Boonwurrung Foundation welcomed the students with a smoking ceremony and explained culture and connection to Port Phillip Bay for the first people. Students said "What will stick with me is that Rickett's Point, Port Phillip Bay, used to have aboriginal homes and a very good emu hunting place." and "I will always remember what Dean told us".
 
Students learned to do shell and nurdle surveys with Andrea Eales and Gio Fitzpatrick. Surveys were conducted at two locations near a large drain that empties into the sanctuary. Students reflected, "I loved the part when we learned about the micro-plastics" and "I would like to find out about the gastropods".
 
After two surveys only seven nurdles were found, this is a very surprising and pleasing result and very different to surveys further north at Brighton, St Kilda and Albert Park. As one student reflected, "I wonder in Beaumaris why we can't find nurdles?" and "Why do people let all the nurdles out?"
 
Students will now meet to turn their learning into a film to teach students around Australia how to conduct shell surveys and to detect micro-plastics along beaches.
 
This project was made possible with support from AusMEPA (Australian Marine Environment Protection Association). A big thank you to volunteers Mark Karki and Nadav Zisin.
SENSIBLE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
Top left: Are you looking for a present that supports your local environment? Our online EcoShop is always open! Have a browse for books, bags and KeepCups and get the perfect gift in time for Christmas. We can recommend the DVD "Baykeepers", our award-winning docco about Port Phillip Bay. Or why not gift your loved one a Green EcoCentre membership? Can't pay online? No worries! Just give us a call on 9534 0670 to pick up & pay by appointment.

Top right: There are only 3 boxes of worms left before stock is finished for the summer. These professional composters will eat their own body weight in food scraps per day and turn them into beautiful soil. Pick up 1000 worms for only $40. 
DECEMBER/JANUARY ECOCENTRE EVENTS
Backyard Garden Artsplay
'nature puppets at play'

Sunday 7 December, 10am - 11.30am

‘Making the ordinary come alive!’ Last session of a 4-part, nature puppet play series for eco-creative youngsters aged 6-12. Craft a nature puppet, invent your own character and launch it on stage! SERIES INFO & DATES

St Kilda Botanical Gardens Guided Evening Walk

Sunday 18 January, 6.30pm-8pm

Get to know the common wildlife residents and stately trees of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens on this guided tour of the heritage gardens.

Cost $20 adults/ $12 EcoCentre Green Members/ $5 children under 12

Meet at the EcoCentre BOOK HERE
 

Elwood Canal Plants & Animals Family Walk

Monday 19 January, 6.30pm-8pm


Bring your binoculars and sketchpad for this walk along Elwood Canal, a rich habitat for native flora and fauna. The walk goes up to Elsternwick Lake.

Cost $10 Adults/ $5 children under 12
Meet at Glenhuntly Road BOOK HERE
BUG SUMMER SERIES - BIKE RIDES WITH A TWIST
PEDAL TO THE PENGUINS - Thurs 18 Dec 6 pm
Port Phillip BUG heads to the Twilight Market for some grub and last minute Christmas gifts. We'll then pedal our way to the Little Penguin colony, led by a professional Penguin tour guide. Let's finish the night with Christmas drinks at the iconic Espy Hotel. BOOK HERE

CULTURE SHOCK BICYCLE TOUR - Sun 18 Jan 9.30 am
Port Phillip BUG enjoys a cup of culture as they explore the City of Port Phillip. Firstly, let's head straight to a secret laneway for coffee. Once caffeinated, we'll go to appreciate a guided tour of the synagogue and Jewish Museum, featuring Andy Warhol's Jewish Genuises exhibition. Afterwards, we'll poke our heads in the Astor Theatre for a look-around. Our morning of culture will be a completed by a lunch stop at a local beer garden. BOOK HERE

SNORKEL WITH THE SEAHORSES - Sat 31 Jan 2 pm
Port Phillip BUG cycles along Port Phillip Bay, headed to discover the marvelous underwater world of Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, near Black Rock. Arrive at the sanctuary to decide whether or not to rockpool ramble, swim or head off snorkeling. Will one see the elusive cuttlefish, find a sea biscuit or be able to spot a gannet in the sky? BOOK HERE

Bookings for all trips are essential. Bike hire and snorkel hire available. For enquiries: bronnie@ecocentre.com or ring 0417 337 993
VOLUNTEERING 
POINT ORMOND MARINE RESEARCH
We are looking for volunteers who are interested in helping us with citizen science and surveying aquatic wildlife at Point Ormond in Elwood. This involves snorkeling and participating on a regular basis, starting early 2015. Register your interest by emailing fam@ecocentre.com or ringing 9534 0670.

FILM TEAM MEMBERS
The Film Team is recruiting! If you have an interest in cinema then this is your chance. Our Film Team puts on an environmental film night every 3rd Monday of the month. Tasks are: picking out the films and making a 6-month film plan, setting up the space, welcoming guests, collecting donations and locking up. The first film of 2015 will be in February. Email fam@ecocentre.com

Volunteer inductions will resume in 2015. Check out our volunteer page for more options.
OTHER EVENTS
NOTICES
Thank you!

A big thank you to Going Green Solutions for being one of our fabulous Sustainable Schools Festival sponsors.

 

Centre for Sustainability Leadership

Fellowship program applications close on 21 February

Want to grow your capacity to influence and create positive change?
Apply for the CSL 2015 Fellowship Program. Some have described this program as a "life changing experience", others as "the True North that helped [them] find the contribution [they] wanted to make in this world." This award-wining program, which is now in its 10th year, is designed for emerging leaders from any field who are passionate about realising positive change in their work and personal lives. Find more information HERE

 

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