“I have rocks in my pockets,” the child at the café announced happily to her dad. One by one, she took out different chunks of gravel from her school jacket and set them on the bench next to their hot chocolates. A pocket-sized museum. Her dad shrugged apologetically at me, but I adored this kid! The human brain ignores most sensory input purely to survive getting through the world, particularly in an overstimulating cityscape, living in an era where our attention is for sale between tech companies (she said, before checking her phone). This means big humans tend to miss tiny delights: the charismatic gesture of a branch in the wind, the freckles inside springtime flowers, the curved taste of Melbourne’s tapwater sourced from rainforest reservoirs in the Dandenongs.

As our Waterkeeper family in the Bahamas begins recovery work after Hurricane Dorian flattened homes, compromised food and water stores, blew up an oil refinery into the jewel-blue waters, and took lives – I could not feel more aware of the comforts I take for granted, and the luxury of pebble rainbows right in front of us should we practice seeing our blessings. It reminds me why we must urgently downsize our lifestyle: Victorians consume resources at 4x the planetary regeneration rate. The same planet that gives us splendour can expend its terrifying power on us, and humanity has significant influence for keeping that in balance.

Thanks, April         
Students presenting a workshop at the School Sustainability Festival 2019
Last week the EcoCentre hosted the 14th annual School Sustainability Festival. 200 students ran sustainability workshops for their peers, harvested a garden lunch, connected with youth sustainability leaders, and celebrated their achievements. Read more about this energising day here
This project was funded with support of the Victorian Government through the Port Phillip Bay Fund, and sponsored by City of Port Phillip and Bayside City Council.
Watch our short film -- Baykeepers: How plastic chokes wildlife
Despite local prevention systems in place, plastic rubbish continues to cover beaches and enter our waterways, sometimes leading to entanglement, ingestion, and death of endemic species. Watch our new Baykeeper short film to learn how plastic is choking wildlife in our backyard, and how local scientists, activists, community groups, and your Port Phillip Baykeeper are leading the way to protect our Bay.
The Earth in Balance: Deep Time Walks
The Earth has been in a delicate state of equilibrium for hundreds of millions of years. Tamara Taylor aims to tell some of the Earth's stories from its 4.6 billion year history on Deep Time Walks, at a rate of a million years per metre. She sat down with us to tell us more about how we need to understand Earth's history to protect its future.

 

EcoCentre's 20th Birthday
It's the EcoCentre's 20th Birthday this year, and we're looking for stories of the EcoCentre's history! If you have any old photos, videos, newspaper clippings or stories from the EcoCentre's past, please share them with us through this form! We'd love to build a digital scrapbook of 20 years of the EcoCentre's impact on our community and environment.
Community compost has reopened

Thanks to our hard-working garden vollies and local worms, the EcoCentre community compost has re-opened and is now accepting paper and food scraps from our local community again. Remember, you can receive up to 80% off your own compost bin, and Bayside and Glen Eira councils now accept food scraps in green bins.

Photo of Australian garden orb weaver and Chestnut teal

Some of the EcoCentre team found these local residents around the St Kilda Botanical Gardens this week: newly hatched Chestnut teals in the pond, and what we believe is an Australian garden orb weaver in our cumquat tree. 

Seen any amazing wildlife in your area? Send us a photo of what nature you encounter -- whether plants, or animals of the sky, sea, or land -- to josh@ecocentre.com and we'll feature a photo in every month's newsletter!

Cool & compelling


Mark your diary


• Thurs 12 Sep 5-8pm -  PD: Showcasing School Sustainability, hosted by Reptile Encounters. Guest speaker Karen Jones from the EcoCentre will showcase practical ways to integrate sustainability in schools. Registrations essential.
• Fri 13 Sep 10:30-11:30am -  EcoCentre Volunteer Induction. Join us to get started volunteering with the EcoCentre! Registrations essential.
• Sat 14 Sep 10am - 2:30pm -  Annual BESSI and MESAC Fossil Expo hosted by Bayside Earth Sciences Society Inc and Marine Education Science and Community Centre. Meet local fossil experts and bring along fossils to have identified. Gold coin donation on entry. Register here.
• Fri 20 Sep 9:30am - 12:30pm -  Melbourne Deep Time Walk, part of the Global Climate Strike Walks. Join Tamara Taylor (Step Through Time) as she takes you through Earth's history at a rate of one million years per metre. Book here.
• Fri 20 Sep 2-4pm -  Global Climate Strike, organised by School Strike 4 Climate. RSVP here.
Sat 21 Sep 9:30-11:30am -  Spring Clean The City, organised by Beach Patrol, Love Our Street, Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance. Join us for Melbourne's biggest street clean event, happening on World Clean-up Day. FREE: Register here.
• Tues 8 Oct 6:30-7:30pm -  EcoCentre Volunteer Induction (Evening Session). Join us to get started volunteering with the EcoCentre! Registrations essential.
• Tues 15 Oct 6:30pm -  Zero Waste Cooking Classes hosted by City of Port Phillip and chef Tamara Graffen. Book here.
• Sun 27 Oct -  EcoCentre Annual General Meeting, time to be confirmed, at the EcoCentre. Save the date for a fun afternoon of meeting the EcoCentre's affiliates, reflecting on 2018/19, and electing our Committee of Management.
Donate for a litter-free Bay

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