Is green, is good

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by Valentina Diaz


More and more of us are actively acknowledging the benefits of being out in nature again. Appreciating our National Parks and Gardens, creating our own veggie patches and even bringing plants indoors to decorate our environments.

I am enjoying the contemporary counter current to the sharp edges of modernism. If you recall the clean shiny surfaces of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Minimalistic- think Calvin Klein, grey, white, streamlined. Nowadays many bars and restaurants celebrate clutter, nod approvingly to vintage and retro and say yes to indoor plants. And why shouldn’t we all?

We are a pretty lucky bunch as Port Phillip boasts 176 hectares of parkland and open space dominated by 11.6 kilometres of foreshore along Port Phillip Bay and suburban streets and major boulevard arterials are lined with around 30,000 street trees. Our trees are valuable assets that quieten the impact of the built city and the 1,000 palms give the city a distinctive beach-side flavour and individuality.

Community gardens are having their own revival with benefits like physical exercise and vitamin D, social interaction and skill development, creating less carbon emissions and reducing organic waste, connecting with nature, learning about the seasons and food production cycles and saving money by growing your own food.

And in these times that there is an underlying fear of losing our natural resources it makes sense we are paying extra attention to those still available to us.

Big business is also paying attention, with green workspaces becoming the norm within those in the know, with research showing that happy workers equal enhanced productivity. And green spaces equal happy workers.

And with business ethics and corruption becoming common knowledge due to the rise of the World Wide Web it has become harder for Corporations to hide their anti-social money making faux pas, seeing big business finally giving back to community and environment.

The Port Phillip Eco-Centre is a great place to start if you are interested in sustainability, community gardening and education, located on the edge of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens, which have been around since 1859. The Gardens are Heritage listed with 810 mature tree specimens, the Alister Clarke Rose Garden, seasonal plant displays, local indigenous plants, nursery and a Sub-tropical Rain-forest conservatory.

The Garden also boasts a beautiful ornamental pond where you can feed the resident ducks and pigeons with your left over stale bread- a fond memory of mine as a child- and quietly observe the variety of native fauna. There are playgrounds for the children a gazebo and a giant chess board, the gardens are not only a popular tourist destination but also available for hire for weddings and functions.

One can also become Friends of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens to support and volunteer there. And a variety of eco- volunteering opportunities can also be found with Earthcare St Kilda to improve the natural resources of the City of Port Phillip, from Port Melbourne to Elwood.

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