Green thumbs are invited to roll up their sleeves to help plant 5,000 native plants on Sunday 16 July, at the Grow West community planting day, on Wadawurrung Country near Ballan.
Grow West has worked to improve and restore degraded landscapes in the west since 2003. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, over 1.4 million seedlings have been planted, more than 2,500 hectares of land rehabilitated, and in excess of 3,000 volunteers engaged with, during this time.
The success of Grow West – which is one of the longest running restoration programs in Victoria – is due to strong involvement from the community and contributions from partner agencies, including: Melbourne Water, Moorabool Shire Council, City of Melton, Moorabool Landcare Network, Southern Rural Water, Greater Western Water, Parks Victoria and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA).
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Grow West will be planting 20,000 seedlings across the landscape during this planting season; 5,000 of these will be planted on the community planting day.
“It’s very exciting to run the community planting day at a location that will improve connectivity through the landscape, link to previous Grow West plantings along the Werribee River, and support several new revegetation projects,” Grow West Coordinator, Lindy MacRaild said.
“By participating in the 2023 planting, the community will be helping to rejuvenate habitat that will benefit wildlife in this river corridor.”
This year, Grow West is partnering with Central Highlands Water and holding the planting day at the Ballan Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“Central Highlands Water (CHW) is proud to partner with Grow West and celebrate 20 years of its landscape restoration program,” Central Highlands Water, General Manager Infrastructure Planning and Operations, Paul Donohue said.
“We are excited to see over 5,000 native seedlings planted at the Ballan Waste Water Treatment Plant on Wadawurrung Country along the Werribee River, which will add further value to ongoing environmental programs currently undertaken in this area.”
An important site in the landscape, with the Werribee River marking the northern boundary, planting will occur along the eastern boundary fence of the property and along an escarpment of a creek that runs into the Werribee River. Planting here will improve connectivity throughout the area, and connect habitat in the rail reserve at the south of the site to the escarpment planting in the north.
Grow West is proud to be partnering with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation which is undertaking site preparation for the planting.
“It is paramount for Wadawurrung to be a part of preparing the site for the planting day, so that land management is rightfully in the hands of Wadawurrung Traditional Owners,” Greg Robinson, Caring for Country General Manager, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation said.
“We thank Grow West for including us in the process, this supports our right to access and care for Country, and the delivery of cultural knowledge and services as described in our Paleert Tjarra Dja – Wadawurrung Country Plan.”
The event has been funded through the Victorian Government’s Iconic Urban Waterways grants program, provided for activities that support implementation of the Waterways of the West Action Plan, with support on the day by Melbourne Water, Central Highlands Water, Friends of Werribee Gorge and Long Forest Mallee, Victorian Mobile Landcare Group, Bacchus Marsh Lions Club, 15 Trees and the Victorian National Parks Association.
The Grow West community planting day is on Sunday, 16th July, between 9.30am and 4pm, at the Ballan Waste Water Treatment Plant, Ingliston Road, Ballan. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. To reduce waste, bringing your own plates and cups is requested.
For more information, and to register, visit growwest.com.au.