Wildlife gardening: Bellarine and beyond

KangaroograssLFGeelongwkshop18
Kangaroo grass in Geelong garden visit.        Photo by Lachlan Forbes

On September 5, Gardens for Wildlife Victoria co-hosted a workshop with the Bellarine Catchment Network at Geelong Botanic Gardens. The Bellarine network includes government groups as well as environmental volunteers ranging from ‘Friends Of’ to Landcare and Coastcare groups. Our Bellarine colleagues described wildlife gardening programs in Ocean Grove and Queenscliff, fascinating in tackling the rich environments bordering sea, wetland and woodland.

The Ocean Grove program focuses on key residential areas that abut both coastal and inland woodland reserves managed by various organisations. By wildlife gardening, residents can help provide linkages between these precious habitats and the community, working together to support locally native biodiversity.

The Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale program is a collaboration between Swan Bay Environment Association and Bellarine Catchment Network, with benefits for residents and the Ramsar listed wetland, Swan Bay, and its adjoining Moonah woodlands.

The day also included presentations about Gardens for Wildlife Victoria, the fundamentals of wildlife gardening, development of the Whitehorse Gardens for Wildlife program, and tips and field practice on being a garden guide. Garden guides visit residents in their gardens, introducing them to wildlife gardening and the contribution they can make.

Twenty six community volunteers and council staff attended from diverse areas including Hobson’s Bay, Wyndham, Stonnington, Moorabool, Colac-Otway, Ballarat, Ocean Grove, Queenscliff, Pt Lonsdale, and Geelong. Energy and enthusiasm was generated in the sharing of diverse skills and experience. Many attendees left keen to plan or develop local wildlife gardening programs.

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