‘Gardens for Wildlife’ goes state-wide

Article image - ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ goes state-wide RMIT University, Dr Laura Mumaw, Knox City Council’s Nadine Gaskell and Mayor John Mortimore, G4W volunteer and KES member Erica Peters, DELWP Director Port Phillip Region, Kelly Crosthwaite, and DELWP Community Partnership Program Officer, Melinda Bowen. Photo courtesy of DELWP.

Knox City Council’s highly successful Gardens for Wildlife (G4W) program will be used as a role-model across Victoria with the assistance of the State Government and RMIT University.

The Knox G4W program is a partnership between Council, the Knox Environment Society (KES) and the wider community, and encourages residents and businesses to create an area in their garden to support local wildlife.

Mayor, John Mortimore, said, “Knox is thrilled to see that our wonderful ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ initiative is being held up as an example of how community-council partnerships can support our native flora and fauna.”

Established in 2006, Knox G4W has grown to include over 800 households and businesses in Knox as active participants.

Building on RMIT research identifying the social and environmental benefits of the program, and features that make it successful, the State Government, through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has contributed $50,000 funding this year to help grow Gardens for Wildlife Victoria (G4W Vic). The Department’s regional Port Phillip office is a member.

The G4W Vic initiative fosters the development of community-local government partnerships to co-design and co-manage programs that involve residents in improving habitat in their gardens to help conserve the local flora and fauna of their municipalities.

Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, RMIT University, Dr Laura Mumaw, said, “RMIT is proud to support Gardens for Wildlife Victoria, helping to understand how we can nurture our wellbeing through working together to care for our local nature and wildlife.”
G4W Vic currently has participants from 24 municipalities across greater Melbourne and beyond, four new partnerships hubs and programs, as well as a number of others in the planning stage.

The G4W Vic initiative is supported by the Andrews Foundation and RMIT University, with a postdoctoral research fellowship looking into how ‘valuing nature’ can be turned into stewardship of biodiversity, how community-council partnerships can form and be linked into government policy, and the social and ecological benefits they can deliver.