Sustainable Homes

Community Projects

Here are some of the exciting sustainability projects that have been led by graduates of the Community Leaders in Sustainability courses in Darebin and Banyule

Projects from 2016-17

Birds in Schools Education Kit An education kit about common native Australian bird species. The resource is for primary school teachers and will be available through BirdLife Australia. The project may include professional development to support use of the kit.

The Compost Depot Linking apartment dwellers with places in their neighbourhood where they can compost their food waste. This will be trialled in one area before being rolled out more widely.

Urban Street Harvest Market An annual farmers market and food swap event at Edwardes Lake in Reservoir.

BuzzandDig Workshops to increase residents’ knowledge of native bees and learn hands-on approaches to providing bee habitats using recycled materials. See the Buzz and Dig Facebook page for details.

Reducing Single Use Plastic Involves engaging with shoppers and supermarkets to reduce single use plastics and lobbying State Government to ban plastic bags for retail.

Field Trip to Wetlands in Darebin A series of guided walks to key wetlands and natural areas in Darebin.

Urban Compost Trail A map to let people know where they can drop off their food scraps for composting.

Seed Community Environment Park An indigenous bush foods garden is planned for the patch of Darebin Creek at Northland. This is a collaborative project that is being led by the SALT Foundation.

Sustainable Living Communities and Suburban Lifestyles A series of meetup discussions about the links between sustainability and health.

Sustainability at NARA Community Early Learning Centre Introducing a range of measures to make the centre more sustainable including a rainwater tank, composting and bike parking.

Litter Critters Children’s workshops about upcycling and reducing waste through transforming used materials into art and toys. These will be held at Darebin Libraries during the September school holidays. Keep an eye on the Library website for event details.

Community Food Hub This cooperative project aims to address food security and community empowerment through food sharing, food related workshops, food rescue, community supported meals and a grocery outlet.

Sounds of Banyule An interactive sound exhibition to connect people to Banyule wildlife. Visitors will be able to press buttons to hear local bird and frog sounds. There will also be associated workshops and activities hosted by local groups and experts.

Enchanted Upcycled Wonderland Garden A sensory and educational garden at Montmorency South Primary School. A space where children can interact with nature through their senses, and learn about soil, composting and recycling.

Small waste A resource kit for childcare centres in the Moreland, Banyule and Darebin area looking for guidance in waste reduction.

Sprouts Alive Establishing a composting system and associated educational materials at Ivanhoe Children’s Community Cooperative.

Friends of Aminya Reserve Forming a friends group to improve Aminya Reserve in Watsonia. The group will seek input from local residents on what improvements they would like to see to the park and then put forward a proposal to Council.

Mapping the Groundswell A visual map of sustainability initiatives in Banyule and networking for people taking part in the local sustainability movement. This initiative is looking to get started in Darebin as well!

Nurturing Nature A series of family-friendly events and guided walks for culturally and linguistically diverse groups, to encourage connection with nature.

Transition Streets Handbook Update To update the Transition Streets Handbook with recent and locally relevant content that can be used in the Australian context.

Sustainable Living with Industrial Hemp Aims to raise awareness of the potential of hemp as a sustainable building material through a demonstration building workshops.

Projects from 2015-16

Speaking of Sustainability A new sustainability-focused public speaking group in the Banyule area. Operates as a Toastmasters club with access to all Toastmasters International training resources and support. Meets the first and third Tuesdays every month in Heidelberg West. See the Speaking of Sustainability Facebook Group for details.

Bicycle Rodeo Fun and positive clinic to teach kids basic skills to ride a bike safely. It involves 8 activity stations each staffed by a volunteer and includes: safety and maintenance inspection of the bike; helmet fit and condition; skills test on a course. Participants get a scorecard and certificate at the end. The Rodeo was delivered at the Banyule Sustainable Transport Show in April, and is ready for future community events and festivals. The kids favourite station? The "Slow Race!"

Sustainable House Tours A series of educational tours of energy and water efficient houses to demonstrate low consumption living in suburbia - not just the houses themselves, but the sustainable ways people live in them.

Pony Club Hill Environment Plan A 5 year environmental and revegetation plan for the North Eastern Pony Club, Viewbank. Includes pony club working bees. Stakeholders are North East Pony Club, Parks Vic, Banyule Council, residents.

The Back Yard Building a nature-based playscape on site at Rosanna Gumnuts playgroup and Rosanna Scouts. Nature-based play looks at creating engaging and sustainable environments for 0-5 y.o. and older children. This environment will include indigenous plants, herb and vegetable, water play through onsite harvesting and art based community engagement. The site is located at Rosanna Scout Hall, De Winton Oval. Currently the project is exploring soil remediation options, to make the ground safe for kids.

Monty Primary School Planting and Children's Habitat Gardens Twenty-five children receive 6 indigenous plants to plant at home to start or extend a habitat garden. They'll learn about best practice planting, and activities to record and document their growing garden. The gardens will enhance the habitat value of the Montmorency wildlife corridor.

St Pius X Community Environment Park Creating a public access sanctuary in Heidelberg West where people can gather to eat and grow food, develop friendships and connections with wider community, learn skills and knowledge around sustainability, or relax and reflect with friends and family.

Banyule + Växjö Environmental Connections Banyule, Victoria and Växjö, Sweden become sister cities or similar, for environmental stewardship and sustainability exchange. Community groups on each side of the globe communicate, teach and learn.

TreeCycle Work with children at St Pius X School to raise their awareness of recyclable materials and experience how these can be used to create art which enhances the environment. The children bring materials, rescued from waste, then plan how these can be used to create a tree which will stand in the Community Environmental Park.

Eat Your Street Starting small in Thornbury, this project grows food in front yards and nature strips. As the interest grows among neighbours, the plan is to build momentum and develop a shared food resource for the street.

All Nations Park Kitchen Garden Running events and activities to look after and build the profile of this marvelous community resource behind the Plaza in the park on Separation St, Northcote. Get your hands dirty at the monthly working bee - first Sunday morning every month. Enjoy a chat and a taste of the fragrant goodies growing.

Darebin Creek Sweepers Holds a "Creek-Sweep" on the third Sunday of every month, 10.30am, at various sites on Darebin Creek. Working with Darebin Creek Management Committee and the two Council Bush Crews. Hundreds of kgs of litter collected and sorted already. Visit Darebin Creek Sweepers on Facebook.

Green Renters Web App Designing and promoting a smartphone app that allows renters to rate rental properties according to their environmental sustainability features.

WeCycle A scheme to collect, repair and distribute bikes to people in need. More than 100 bikes have been donated and 30-plus distributed after six months. For more info visit the WeCycle website.

Fodder trees for Bundoora Park Farm Fodder trees (edible by stock and other animals) and landscape trees planted at Bundoora Farm by volunteers.

Projects from 2014-15

Textile Art Community Inc. Formed to find creative uses for materials that would otherwise go to waste, and to make useful items and art pieces. An exhibition TACtile was held in June 2016. For more information see the Textile Art Community Facebook page.

Urban Garden Collective Community Compost. This project develops a composting system that receives organic material from residents and businesses in the local area, at the Urban Garden Collective - a food garden and gathering place next to Bell Station in Preston. See the Urban Garden Collective Facebook page for more info.

Save Our Citrus A series of information workshops and a coordinated approach to the treatment and disposal of citrus gall wasp from the lemon trees of Banyule and Darebin. Visit the Save Our Cirtus Facebook page

St Pius X Community Garden The design of a food garden located at St Pius X Primary School in West Heidelberg, which will also be accessed by adjacent public housing residents and aged care residents.

Yaro Yaro River Walk The development of a cultural and natural heritage walk among significant sites along the Yarra River in Banyule, in partnership with the Wurundjeri Land Council.

Street Action Group Story Documenting the process through which residents in a street can work together effectively to oppose inappropriate development or projects which damage the local environment or community.

Reducing Food Waste 3081 A range of workshops and activities to help households and communities in postcode 3081 with a range of actions and strategies to avoid food waste.

Convivial Organics Redistributing organic waste from Mercy Hospital to composting systems at gardens across Banyule.

Our Local Hub This project helps community groups develop a strong onlione presence. A slick online tool was created to help community groups promote themselves and share their actions effectively online. Go to the Our Local Hub website to make use of what's on offer.

Alphington Community Compost Hub Managing a compost hub at Alphington Community Centre to demonstrate and educate about composting and provide an organic waste drop-off point for local residents and small businesses.

Sustain Banyule Map A database and map of community and environmental groups, initially in Banyule, expanding to Darebin and Nillumbik.

Transition Streets Arising from the Transition Towns movement, several Leaders are convening groups of neighbours who meet to discuss the ways communities impact the natural environment, and adopt strategies and actions together to reduce impacts and sustain environments, while increasing connectedness and relationships in the local neighbourhood.
There are seven workbooks for this project:
Workbook 1 - Introduction
Workbook 2 - Water
Workbook 3 - Energy
Workbook 4 - Food
Workbook 5 - Transport
Workbook 6 - Consumption and waste
Workbook 7 - Where to from here?

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