22 January 2018
Residents and conservation groups in Melbourne’s east and south-east are part of a growing movement to create gardens for wildlife.
‘Gardens for Wildlife’ is a vision and a network of groups encouraging residents and businesses to create gardens that support local wildlife. Gardens planted with local Australian native species make living spaces in the suburbs for birds, reptiles and insects.
In 2014, the Institute for Sustainable Futures calculated that less than 40 per cent of the Melbourne metropolitan area was covered with trees and shrubs. Their research found that grass and bare ground covered half the city area, while large areas of land continued to be dedicated to traffic, parking and new buildings that covered most of a property.
The Gardens for Wildlife program was first established as is a partnership between Knox City Council, Knox Environment Society (KES) and the Knox community. It has been so popular that the program has now been established in Cardinia, Yarra Ranges, Whitehorse and Boroondara and continues to expand.
The success of the program has led to the Gardens for Wildlife Coordinating Group being established. The group aims to help new Gardens for Wildlife groups to form and to be a hub for shared learning. The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA is key part of the group.
But Gardens for Wildlife is doing more than just connecting one of Australia’s most popular pastimes with nature conservation. Other benefits observed include positive connections between community members, improved health and wellbeing and increased knowledge and experience about nature.
The program also offers huge potential to support the ‘Connecting People with Nature’ goals in the Victorian Government’s conservation strategy, Biodiversity 2037.
Visit the Gardens for Wildlife Victoria website for more information.