EcoCentre February News


In this Issue: New EcoCentre projects / Grow It Local / Schools & Community Education News / Hungry Bin worm farms / EcoCentre February events / Bicycle Mayhem activities / Volunteering / Other local events
WHAT'S NEW AT YOUR ECOCENTRE
LAUNCH OF NEW PROGRAMS
The EcoCentre is off to a flying 2015 start, as we launched no less than 3 multi-year projects in January. Not surprisingly, they all revolve around creating healthy waterways for our community and wildlife. EcoCentre staff and of course our beloved Port Phillip Baykeeper Neil Blake can be spotted in and over the Bay and the Melbourne catchments.

Project: Turn off the Tap!
Litter, and specifically plastic pollution, is everyone's problem. Luckily, it is also a problem that you can help solve yourself! Over the next 2 years, the EcoCentre will be working with schools and the community in the Yarra catchment area on litter prevention education. We will be showing our award-winning documentary 'Baykeepers' and engaging people about littering behaviour. After all, what happens in the 'burbs, impacts on the Bay... By turning off the litter-tap upstream, we protect our wildlife and ourselves from plastic pollution. The Connies will be helping us with this, so keep an eye out for them at your upcoming local community festival.

True to EcoCentre style, we're not going at it alone. We will be working with our amazing community partners the Yarra Riverkeeper, Friends of Westgate Park, Beach Patrol and Upper Yarra Landcare, who will be monitoring litter. 

Want to help? Feel free to contact our community partners and find out when they're doing their next litter clean up. 

Stay tuned for our next project in the March newsletter.

This project is part of the Litter Hotspots program and sponsored by the Victorian Government.
ECOCENTRE PARTICIPATING IN GROW IT LOCAL
We have teamed up with the team from Grow It Local, as part of the 2015 Sustainable Living Festival. Whether you’re a seasoned gardening expert or just have a few herbs on your windowsill, Grow it Local invites you to show what you’re growing by plotting your patch on the map and sharing your tips, tricks and quirky gardening ideas with other locals via the Grow it Local facebook page.

Register your patch to be eligible for a Golden Ticket to an invitation-only Local Growers’ Feast. Chef-extraordinaire Vanessa Mateus from Pope Joan will courageously turn the homegrown contributions into the Feast within less than 24 hours, at Testing Grounds on March 1.

The EcoCentre is the drop-off point for Melbourne's South side growers. You can drop off your produce contributions on 28 February, between 8 am and 1 pm.
SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY EDUCATION NEWS
Remember the kids from St Joseph’s Primary School (Black Rock), Beaumaris Primary School and Stella Maris Primary School (Beaumaris)? They made some great videos of their day at Rickett's Point Marine Sanctuary.

Let's visit the beach, look at shells and learn the difference between a bivalve and a gastropod. Gastropods are super-dooper cool!. And if you want to try a shell survey yourself, here is how it's done.

Thanks to AusMEPA and the Rhondda Alexander Memorial Marine Grant
NEW IN THE ECOSHOP: HUNGRY BINS

The long-awaited Hungry Bin is the Maserati of worm farms. It is the most efficient and user-friendly worm farm available and we are now selling it in our EcoShop

The Hungry Bin is a continuous flow system, which makes it far more efficient than worm farms that use stacked trays. The unique shape of the bin creates a large surface area, allowing the worms to easily access the food scraps at the top, allowing them to process more waste, more quickly. The tapered sides encourages the worms to stay on the surface, while compressing their castings below. Come and see a working show model in our EcoGarden, or ring us to order on 9534 0670.

FEBRUARY ECOCENTRE EVENTS
Backyard Garden Artsplay
Sealife Panorama Project

First session:
Sunday 15 February, 10:30 am - 12:00 am

Sharing a snapshot panorama of our amazing Port Phillip Bay's thriving sea life as a life size assemblage, using recyclable materials & nature objects. A family friendly outdoors arts project for eco-youngsters aged 4-12.

Location: EcoCentre garden, under the story tree. $5 donation, no booking necessary.
MORE INFO

BICYCLE MAYHEM!

BUG EDIBLE ESCAPE BIKE TOUR - Sun 22 Feb 8:30 am
Port Phillip Bicycle User Group rides from St Kilda to Gunyah (Pascoe Vale), to visit Karen Sutherland's amazing garden at Edible Eden Design as part of Open Gardens Australia. See 200 edible plants: vegies, vines, citrus, fruit, nuts and Australian bush foods. Aquaponics, rooftop garden, bees & chickens. Talks at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Meet at St Kilda Pier for an 8.30 am start. It's a 20 km ride there (40 km return) to Pascoe Vale, almost exclusively on bike paths and via Royal Park. Lots of bail out points. Entry fee to the garden is $8, BYO lunch.
More info and BOOKINGS here

WOMEN BIKE SKILLS WORKSHOP + GUIDED RIDE
Thur 5 & 12 Feb 6-8 pm

Join ‘Ladies Back on Your Bike’ for a bike skills workshop (week 1) and guided ride around Port Phillip (week 2) for women. INFO and BOOKINGS

For enquiries, contact the City of Port Phillip Sport and Recreation Team on 9209 6677 or helpsportandrec@portphillip.vic.gov.au

BASIC BIKE MAINTENANCE FOR WOMEN
Sun 8 Feb 10 am - noon BOOK HERE
Tues 17 Feb 6:30 - 8:30 pm BOOK HERE
Learn all the important basics to help keep your bike running smoothly! The female facilitator will demonstrate how to: undertake safety checks, set your bike up effectively, adjust brakes, change a tube, repair a puncture and clean the chain. 

For enquiries about this workshop contact the facilitator Georgie by email georgie@bikesatwork.com.au or call her on 0432 291 775
VOLUNTEERING 
ORGANIC GARDEN VOLUNTEERS
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.


WELL WATERS PROJECT VOLUNTEERS
For our new Well Waters project, we hope to team up with 2 or 3 volunteers who are able to help us for half a day on 12 Saturdays over the next 6 Months. You would be engaging with community volunteers, recording attendance and promoting Well Waters gardens. Training provided. Contact april@ecocentre.com

SCHOOLS VOLUNTEER
The education team is looking for a volunteer to join them in delivering a school program at a local primary school. This will be for half a day a week over the next 4 months. Working With Children card is essential (free for volunteers), as is being reliable. Previous education experience is favorable, but not essential. Contact and send your CV to april@ecocentre.com
OTHER EVENTS
NOTICES
A big thank you to Jeff from Soxy Beast for sponsoring materials to build nests for little penguins!
Copyright © 2015 Port Phillip EcoCentre, All rights reserved.


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