The Mornington Peninsula is home to many important and vulnerable species, such as the Powerful owls and Swamp Skint. However, weed invasion, predation by feral cats foxes and vegetation clearing threatens this biodiversity.

Since 2017, the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network has been working with 23 landowners to reconnect fragmented remnants of core, high-value indigenous vegetation between Greens Bush and Arthurs Seat.

Together they’ve revegetated 23 hectares and undertaken 71 hectares of weed control. Combined with an extensive 427 hectares of pest animal control work, their efforts are contributing to the creation of a significant wildlife corridor on the Mornington Peninsula.

The PPWCMA and DELWP recently visited several properties taking part in the project and were excited to see not only the landscape improvements but the passion of all involved.

The project is supported by the PPWCMA with funding by the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments, Our Communities initiative.  To learn more and get involved visit https://mplandcare.org.au/projects/

The granitic peaks of the You Yang Ranges and surrounding low lying grasslands of the Werribee Plains are some of Victoria’s most ecologically significant landscapes.

The continual impacts of invasive weeds, rabbits and goats threaten the iconic flora and fauna species that live in this area, including Spiny Rice-flower, Button Wrinklewort, Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the Plains Wanderer.

Since 2017, the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA has been working with key organisations and private landholders to protect and enhance 7,000 hectares of this landscape through a range of monitoring and control efforts.

One such site is Mt Rothwell Conservation Reserve, a 473 hectare property located west of Melbourne, at the base of the You Yangs Regional Park. Mt Rothwell has partnered with the PPWCMA and Geelong City Council to implement rabbit control works across their grasslands and rocky outcrops.

You Yangs Regional Park
You Yangs Regional Park

Last month, representatives from Parks Victoria, Geelong City Council, Melbourne Water, Naturewest and the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA headed out to Mt Rothwell Conservation Reserve to view the progress of these works.

Five hectare sections have been fenced out with critter-proof fencing and rehomed dogs have been used to undertake low-impact rabbit eradication in each section. The dogs have been extensively trained to only pursue rabbits and not the endangered mammals living at Mt Rothwell.

This approach has proved highly successful, with the last remaining rabbits caught on camera at last count there were 2 rabbits remaining within the last enclosure.

Critter proof fencing

Foxes and cats have now been eradicated from the property, allowing for native species such as the Eastern Quoll, Brush Tailed Wallaby, Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the Spiny Rice Flower to be introduced.

The Peaks to Plains project is funded by the Victorian Government.

Mt Rothwell Conservation Reserve

On Thursday 10 October 2019, the Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project was awarded a Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award 2019 for its ambitious efforts to plant more than one million trees across Melbourne’s west.

The project was the winner in the Environmental Protection category, which recognised leadership and excellence in protection and prevention of harm to the environment.

Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project was delivered between 2015 and 2018 and is part of the broader Greening the West initiative. This multi-agency collaboration aims to deliver positive health and social outcomes and enhanced liveability for communities in the western suburbs of Melbourne through a program of urban greening.

The project planted 1,072,320 trees and shrubs across 320 parks, reserves, open spaces, roadsides and private land, covering an area of 1,755 hectares. Over 4,500 volunteers and 100 private landowners participated in 61 community events and tree planting days.

Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project partners celebrate their combined achievements

Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority’s CEO, David Buntine, said the project is a shining example of what can be achieved when governments and communities work collaboratively.

“We can achieve more together than we can alone … this project has made a significant and lasting difference to Melbourne’s west by creating new natural areas for people and animals, as well as strengthening the connection between local communities and the environment.”

Sustainability Victoria’s interim Chief Executive, Carl Muller, said the awards showed how management of environmental issues was of growing importance for all Victorians – no matter age, no matter where they live or what they do.

“Each year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards continue to discover Victoria’s best and most inspiring Victorian individuals, organisations and businesses who are developing and implementing new sustainable practices,” he said.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. Your contributions will have positive long-term benefits for us all.”

The Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project was delivered by LeadWest, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Brimbank City Council, City of Melton, City of Moonee Valley, Hobsons Bay City Council, Hume City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Wyndham City Council, Parks Victoria, VicRoads, Western Water, Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek, Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley Inc. and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

This project was supported by Lead West through funding from the Australian Government’s Green Army and National Landcare Program.

Australian Government's National Landcare Program logo

We were stoked to have local disability services provider, Distinctive Options, lend us and the Friends of Emu Bottom Wetlands Reserve a hand with some plantings recently.

Their enthusiastic volunteers helped us plant around 250 native grasses on the Salesian College Sunbury community planting site, as part of the Victorian Government funded ‘Restoring the Natural Glory of Jackson’s Creek’ project.

Their hard work will help to suppress weeds growing between the trees and shrubs that are trying to grow.

The PPWCMA’s Sunbury-based staff actually share an office with Distinctive Options, so they were also pleased to show them why they always coming back so dirty! 🤣

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA are excited to announce that the Greening the West – 1 Million Trees Project has been selected as a finalist in the 2019 Premier’s Sustainability Awards in the Environmental Protection and Government categories.

Between 2015 and 2018, Greening the West planted 1,072,320 trees and shrubs across 320 parks, reserves, open spaces, roadsides and private land, covering an area of 1,755 hectares.

This amazing achievement was due to the hard work of 16 government and community organisations, over 4,500 volunteers and over 100 private landowners, who participated in 61 community events and tree planting days.

The awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 10 October.

Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project partners included PPWCMA, LeadWest, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Moonee Valley City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, City of Melton, Hume City Council, Wyndham City Council, City of Maribyrnong, Brimbank City Council, Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek, Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley Inc. and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

The project was supported by the National Landcare Program’s 20 Million Trees Program.

Greening the West 1 Million Trees finalist Premiers Sustainability Awards 2019

In May 2015, Greg Hunt MP planted the first tree of the Greening the West – 1 Million Trees Project along the lower Kororoit Creek in Altona.

The project’s goal was ambitious – to create sustainable, liveable, healthy communities by creating a network of greener open spaces across Melbourne’s west.

Today this ambitious project was brought to a close, but not an end, when Craig Rowley from LeadWest and Geoff Mitchelmore from Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek  planted the 1 millionth tree on the same site.

The project is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when we work together and Port Phillip & Westernport CMA was proud to contribute to its success by planning over 700,000 trees in the upper Werribee and upper Maribyrnong catchments through their Greening the Maribyrnong and Grow West programs.

The project covered a vast area including the Brimbank, Melton, Moorabool, Wyndham, Hume, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Moonee Valley areas and was supported by Melbourne Water, City West Water and community environmental groups.

The Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project was funded thanks to  $5 million in funding through the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees program and National Landcare Program.

 

Greening the west first tree being planted in May 2015

First tree being planted by Greg Hunt MP in May 2015

 

Greening the west 1 millionth tree being planted in October 2018

1 millionth tree being planted in October 2018 by Craig Rowley from LeadWest and Geoff Mitchelmore from Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek.

 

PPWCMA and Lead West project partners celebrate the project’s successful completion.

The Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat project has used the warmer spring weather as an opportunity to jump into action and undertake some key actions.

The project, being delivered by the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network, has been working hard to to complete its spring fox control program. The control of introduced predators is an important inclusion to the project, helping to reduce predatory stress and better support populations of indigenous wildlife already under extreme pressure to just survive.

More than 16,000 indigenous plants were installed this season and many of the participating landholders have had their ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’ participating landholder signage installed in prominent locations, which will help to promote this wonderful project at street level.

Nest boxes will soon be installed on a selection of biolink properties that have an absence of hollow-bearing trees to provide valuable habitat for hollow dependent species. Different species have different requirements, so we will be installing a variety of boxes specifically designed to attract a various species including owls, antichinus, sugar gliders and microbats to name a few. Each box will be made from environmentally sensitive EcoPly, incorporating smart designs to deter introduced feral species such as the Common Mynah and introduced bees from taking up residence in the boxes.

Words and images provided by the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network and Chantal Kelly

 

About the project

‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’ is an ambitious project being delivered by the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network and Port Phillip & Westernport CMA that aims to restore indigenous vegetation to strengthen the nature link between two of the Mornington Peninsula’s largest parks – Greens Bush and Arthurs Seat.

The project was developed through the vision of local landholders and community members and 20 private properties are a key part of the project, with revegetation works being undertaken on remnant bushland on their properties.

This work will help local threatened animals including the Powerful Owl, White-footed Dunnart, Lewin’s Rail and the Swamp Skink, as well as contribute to healthier waterways in the Drum Drum Alloc Creek and Splitters Creek catchments.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government’s ‘Our Catchments Our Communities’ initiative.

For more information contact Chantal Kelly, Project Coordinator at gb2as@mplandcare.org.au or 0410 764 732.

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