Port Phillip EcoCentre
The Port Phillip EcoCentre is a non-profit community environment organisation. A resource for groups, individuals and the business community across Port Phillip and the broader region, the EcoCentre encourages awareness and actions for sustainable living to protect and enhance biodiversity.
An example of environmental action in practice and a focus for the community to share knowledge and resources, the EcoCentre provides meeting space, office facilities, an environmental reference library and information. Strategic direction is set by a community-based (voluntary) committee, which is supported by the EcoCentre coordinator.
A vision to transform an ordinary house and garden into a model sustainability site has come to fruition with the EcoHouse.
A unique initiative between community groups and local and state government, the EcoHouse was officially launched by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Environment, John Thwaites on World Environment Day, Thursday June 5.
The EcoHouse provides inspiration for people wanting to live more sustainably, focusing on the areas of water, energy, waste management, building and garden design, and personal wellbeing.
Sustainable design features
- Water conserving appliances and systems including a water treatment plant and use of recycled water for garden irrigation
- Use of reused, recycled and abundant timber products
- Landscaping of a garden which require less water and produces food
- Solar hot water system
- Energy efficient appliances and initiatives that reduce consumption such double-glazing, floor to ceiling curtains and installation of solar panels
- Solar tubes which allow light into hallways and crevicesAn access for all environment
The EcoHouse project was conceptualised by Earthcare, a community-based environment group in St Kilda. Following intensive community design workshops the EcoHouse Master Plan was launched in 2000. The Port Phillip EcoCentre took leadership on the construction of the project. Support for the project has attracted substantial financial and in-kind support.
The EcoHouse project complements the council's Sustainable Living at Home program, a practical advice program for Port Phillip residents wanting to create a more sustainable lifestyle, community and environment.
Bob Palfrey, a local mariner, reckons he started hearing penguins in St. Kilda harbour in 1956, not long after a breakwater was built to provide shelter for yachts competing in the Melbourne Olympics.
The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the Fairy Penguin, is the smallest of the penguin family. It is an aquatic animal, native to New Zealand and southern Australia, and only comes ashore to breed and molt.
A large colony of Little Penguins - about 20,000 - live in the sand hills at Phillip Island. Island penguins sometimes travel the 120 kilometres to Port Phillip Bay on feeding trips. It is thought that on one such foraging trip some Phillip Island penguins found the St. Kilda breakwater and stayed. More details about the St Kilda Penguins can be found on the EcoCentre website, linked below.
The EcoCentre is open to the public Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and weekends for special events and workshops. It is located at St Kilda Botanical Gardens on the corner of Blessington and Herbert Streets, St Kilda.
Contact the EcoCentre by telephoning (03) 9534 0670, email or visit the EcoCentre website, www.ecocentre.com.
Use eServices to ask us a question, request information or give us feedback online. If you prefer call ASSIST on (03) 9209 6777 or TTy (03) 9209 6713 and ask for Environmental Policy & Programs.