EcoCentre: St Kilda Botanical Gardens’ community-managed environmental initiative

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By Hilmar Anton Machado

The Port Phillip EcoCentre is a great place to start if you want to get involved in community activities with like-minded people, learn and practice a more sustainable way of living. It is an independent community managed non-profit organization, formally launched in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens in 1999, where it is still located at the old park keeper’s house.

You can visit the EcoCentre to become involved in community environmental projects and programs, discover sustainable living practices and see technologies in action. You can also attend specialised training sessions, workshops or forums, socialise, and also have fun. The centre provides children with a safe, urban green space and a garden-play area.

The EcoCentre (EC) team is highly qualified in environmental issues and their work is supported by a great group of volunteers. Its tenure and involvement with the community makes it an excellent role model for other environmental organizations to follow.

The EC’s work involves a variety of programs such as ‘Corporate Volunteers’, the Baykeeper program, the Litter Hotspots project; re-generation, gardening, school education programs and the Youth Wildlife Ambassador.

The EcoCentre’s positive impact on the environment and the community was recognised through no less than 5 awards in 2014, including the most prestigious sustainability award in Victoria: the Premier’s Recognition Award.

EcoCentre’s self-produced film ‘Baykeepers’ won Best Short Documentary at the International Oceanside Film Festival in California, U.S as well as earning selection and awards at various other film festivals in 2014.

If you want to learn more about the EcoCentre and get involved in their work you are welcome to drop by at 55A Blessington St, St Kilda. You can also visit their website at:

The author also developed a photo essay about to showcase the work EcoCentre does. Head to our website to check it out.


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