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Brimbank environment events update - May 2022
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100% Renewable Brimbank community launch and website
 

The 100% Renewable Brimbank program was launched on Saturday 9 April at St Albans Community Centre with a fantastic morning of presentations and information about switching to renewable energy and upgrading your home to all-electric appliances.

Community members who attended on the day also had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with experts on rooftop solar, electric heating and cooling, energy bill savings and Residential Energy Scorecard Assessments.

The 100% Renewable Brimbank website is now live as a no-charge Council service connecting the Brimbank community to resources, one-on-one support, and financial incentives to help make the switch to all-electric appliances powered by renewable energy.

Go to Brimbank.vic.gov.au/renewable to keep an eye out for more exciting events, or sign up for a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation with one of our experts!
Events

Providing a COVID Safe Environment at our Events

As we return to in-person activities, scheduled Brimbank City Council events will be managed in alignment with the current COVIDSafe settings in Victoria and all attendees will be required to follow the present guidelines. For up-to-date health information visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

To help us manage our events safely, we continue to require all attendees to register beforehand on the Brimbank events page.
 

Join the City Nature Challenge!
 

We encourage local residents to head out to your local park or reserve, to snap pictures of nature and join in the challenge on the weekend of 29th April - 2nd May 2022! All you need to do is download the iNaturalist app.

Community groups might enjoy getting together and holding an event to join the challenge together.

We'll be giving away a free copy of 'Habitat' by AB Bishop - a fantastic book to help you be inspired to plant habitat in your own garden. The winner will have the most entries on iNaturalist during the challenge period, in the Brimbank area.

Register here to stay up to date on the challenge and to receive notifications on related upcoming events, including an open group data collection session on Friday 29 April at Buckingham Reserve in Sunshine.

I Upcycled This!
 

Start an up-cycling project.

Bring along something you've up-cycled, share up-cycling ideas and be inspired to reinvent and re-purpose household items.

Bring your own mug or cup for a tea or coffee while you chat and create.

Where: Sunshine Library, 301 Hampshire Rd, Sunshine
When: Tuesday 3 May 2022, 10am - 11:30am
Register here

Guide to Composting and Worm Farming
 

Celebrate composting awareness week with us!

Learn how composting, worm farms and bokashi bins help reduce waste to landfill while feeding your soil.  

Weather permitting, this event will be held in the garden. Please wear a hat and closed toe shoes.

Where: Westvale Community Centre, 45 Kings Rd, Kings Park
When: Saturday 7 May 2022, 10am - 12pm
Register here

Free Forest Therapy Walk
 

Take time out to experience a mindful walk in nature, to relax and feel better! This 2-hour Forest Therapy walk is inspired by the Japanese way of immersing in nature "Shinrin Yoku" which literally translates as "immersion in the forest" or "Forest Bathing".

Time in nature is one of the best choices you can make for your health. The slow pace of a Forest Therapy session provides many physical and mental health benefits to participants from a healthier heart, boosted immune system and reduced stress, to better eyesight and brain power!

The gentle walk is suitable for adults and children (12 + years).

Where: Brimbank Park, Keilor Park Dr, Keilor East
When: Saturday 7 May 2022, 11am - 1pm
Register here

Community Planting Day with Friends of Maribyrnong Valley
 

To compliment some ongoing woody weed removal at Caroline Chisholm Park, we invite the community to help restore indigenous vegetation at this community planting day.  

Re-vegetation will assist in restoring the original landscape of the site, whilst providing new habitat for lots of birds, insects, lizards and reptiles.

Please remember to bring along your own gloves, water bottle, closed-toe shoes, long pants, long sleeve top, a hat and a rain jacket.

Bookings are essential.

Where: Caroline Chisholm Park, Keilor
When: Saturday 14 May, 10am - 12pm
Register here

Help your Garden Thrive with Bees
 

Learn how to have a happy and productive garden by looking after garden pollinators. 

Come and hear gardening expert Kaye Roberts-Palmer talking about the weird and wonderful beneficial insects out there, and how you can invite them into your garden.

Find out the best plants to attract garden pollinators, and make an insect hotel for your garden out of recycled materials.

Spaces are limited and bookings are essential.

Where: Keilor Library, 704B Old Calder Hwy, Keilor
When: Saturday 14 May 2022, 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Register here

Detox your Home
 

Residents can safely dispose of everyday household chemicals, making homes safer and protecting our environment.

The most common chemicals include: 
  • Fuels and flammable liquids - paint thinners, turpentine, diesel
  • Garden herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers
  • Household cleaners, bleach, ammonia, oven cleaners, cooking oil
  • Car wax, transmission fluid, brake fluid
  • Aerosol cans
  • Gas cylinders
Detox your Home events are now drive-through (we cannot accept walk-ins). 

Where: Brimbank Resource Recovery Centre, Stadium Dr, Keilor Park
When: Saturday 28 May 2022, 9am - 1pm
Register here
2022 Digital Brimbank Environmental Events Calendar

Don't forget, you can always plan ahead and book into a future environment event planned for this year.

View the 2022 event calendar here.

My Smart Garden Workshops
 

My Smart Garden hosts a range of events and workshops to encourage sustainable gardening. Please see the links below to book your ticket:

Composting 101 - International Composting Week!
Where:
Online workshop
When: Wednesday 4 May 2022, 6:30pm - 8pm
Register here

Healthy Soil, Healthy Planet - Role of garden soil in climate action
Where:
Online workshop
When: Wednesday 18 May 2022, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Register here
Out and about in Brimbank

Must visit - The Stepping Stones, Kororoit Creek Trail

If you've ever walked along the Kororoit Creek trail, which spans just over 20kms and meanders right through Deer Park, Ardeer and Sunshine - you might have come across 'The Stepping Stones'. This site is situated in the west of Sunshine, and is cared for by the Friends of Kororoit Creek. The site got its name from a distinctive row of 'stepping stones' that connect the north of the creek bank, with the south.

On Sunday 5th of June, Brimbank City Council are hosting a community celebration and planting day with the Friends of Kororoit Creek, for World Environment Day. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the Stepping Stones site and help to continue the restoration and maintenance of the area. We'll be providing a free barbecue as well as other family-friendly activities to enjoy. Registering is essential and you can book tickets here.

Check out our new sign at Dempster Park!

Dempster Park has a new stormwater harvesting system that is now operational! Instead of using drinking water to maintain the park, this system captures nearby stormwater, which after it has been cleaned and treated, is reused for irrigation of the park. Up to 11 million litres of stormwater (the equivalent of filling over four Olympic sized swimming pools of drinking water) are saved each year.

A large raingarden (full of native plants) has been installed as part of the system. The raingarden helps to clean the stormwater and provides a semi-aquatic habitat for native fauna.

This project forms the core of the Dempster Park Oasis project and is funded by Brimbank City Council, Greater Western Water, the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning and Melbourne Water. The oasis project involves the clever use of water and plants to create a cool and green oasis that can counteract the hotter and drier conditions caused by climate change.

Get involved

Watch and learn: The Climate Crisis - A Different Lens 

Get involved by learning more about climate change from the experts and hear about the problems we now face. Be inspired and watch the video (around 10 minutes) here. The climate crisis is the latest episode in A Different Lens documentary series, highlighting the need to provide culturally-relevant climate change information to ensure we all understand how climate change is affecting our health and the environment.

Why not learn more about what is happening with our climate now in Australia, and be inspired to stand together as a community to face this challenge.

Wildflowers in schools program

The wildflowers in schools program will continue in 2022 and we are now looking for schools who would like to participate. This program is provided at no-charge and is supported by the Dame Phyllis Frost Women's Centre nursery in Ravenhall, who have kindly offered to grow seedlings for us again this year.
 
As a part of the program, we are offering 50 wildflower seedlings per school to 10 schools in Brimbank. As places are limited, we encourage you to get in contact ASAP if you would like to participate.
 
To be eligible, schools must:

  • have a minimum area of 4m2 allocated within the school – sunny position preferred
  • have the capacity to plant the seedlings shortly after receiving them (around 50 tubestock plants in Aug/Sept)

 
These important plants attract beneficial insects that assist with pollination – a perfect addition for schools with food or habitat gardens.
 
Primary and high schools can register their interest by sending an email with Subject “Wildflowers in schools program” to environment@brimbank.vic.gov.au including the school name, contact person and phone number.

Programs to help you save

Track your energy

Install Powerpal (it's free!) and track which appliances are using the most energy at home, all from an app. You can also see what time you use the most energy at home, in real time. See how it works here.

Take control of your energy use and save on bills! Register here.

If you're ready to go a step further, consider solar panels or purchase 100% green power.

Compost Product Discounts

Improve your soil by creating compost at home! Brimbank residents can still purchase discounted compost bins and worm farms (up to 80% off RRP). Click here to browse the products available, order and complete an online tutorial.

Solar for Homes Program

With rising gas prices, Brimbank residents can now switch to solar as a way to heat their home and save money at the same time.

Good news, the Victorian Government has just announced that from mid-May, Brimbank residents will be able to access a $1,400 rebate (or discount) to install solar panels on their roof, as well as a 50% rebate or up to $1,000 to install a solar hot water system (or a high efficiency electric heat pump). 

Brimbank residents who have recently installed solar panels (and received a $1,400 rebate) are also from mid-May now eligible to apply for a $1,000 solar hot water rebate. Previously households could only access one rebate.

To find out more visit the Solar Homes Program website.

Solar for Business Program

The aim of this initiative is to reduce the upfront cost of the installation of an approved small-scale solar PV systems (up to 30kW). There are rebates available to cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system with a maximum of $3,500 for small businesses (with less than 50 employees). All entity types, including businesses who own their premises and those who rent can apply. Charities and not-for profit organisations are also eligible to participate.

Interest-free loans of between $1,000 and $5,000 are also now available for businesses to help cut up-front solar installation costs.

To find out more about the application process, please visit the Solar for Business Program website.

Share the News: If you know of a friend or colleague who would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please forward it on and ask them to subscribe here.

Want to advertise a local online community event here? Send your June events to environment@brimbank.vic.gov.au by 20th of May, 2022. 

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