Find a local community group who help people connect with each other while looking after our green spaces and places.
How to get involved with local groups
The EcoCentre is a not-for-profit, community-managed, environment group, providing a base for affiliate groups involved in activities that promote biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.
Find out more about Port Phillip EcoCentre and how you can get involved.
Our partnership with the EcoCentre
City of Port Phillip has a longstanding partnership with the Port Phillip EcoCentre that began with seed funding to launch the organisation in 1999.
Over the last 20 years, Council has provided the EcoCentre with facilities in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens at peppercorn rent, an annual operating grant and practical project funds. We've also committed $2.75 million towards the EcoCentre building redevelopment, covering 50 per cent of the capital redevelopment costs, subject to matched funding.
The EcoCentre delivers sustainability education, services and support to our Port Phillip and wider Melbourne community with more than 19,000 participants annually.
Some of the EcoCentre's projects that are delivered with City of Port Phillip support include:
- Early years education and Nature Play
- Youth, school and teacher programs
- Community composting
- St Kilda Repair Cafe
- Penguin habitat planting and clean-ups
- Citizen science projects including NatureSpot
- Port Phillip Urban Fresh Food Network
The EcoCentre is an important community hub, offering student placements, coordinating over 21,000 environmental volunteer hours per year, and answering thousands of community enquiries.
The Port Phillip Emergency Climate Action Network (PECAN) aims to create and sustain a strong climate action movement in Port Phillip to address the climate crisis.
A more extended statement of PECAN’s aims is on the PECAN website.
Members (as listed by PECAN and updated May 2020) include:
- The Australian Conservation Foundation Macnamara (ACFM) is part of Australia's national environmental organisation, a community of over 400,000 people who speak out, show up and act for a world where forests, rivers, people and wildlife thrive. ACFM is the group of members that lives in the Division of Macnamara.
- The Australian Youth Climate Coalition is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation, our mission is to build a movement of young people leading solutions to the climate crisis.
- The Community Alliance of Port Phillip is a residents’ action group that champions progressive policies for the City of Port Phillip. Contact CAPP at email@example.com like their Facebook page at @Community AlliancePP, or phone their Convenor Rhonda Small on 0434 027 760.
- The Port Phillip EcoCentre - see listing above.
- Stop Adani Macnamara is part of a people powered movement in Australia contributing to the world’s effort to reduce global greenhouse emissions by preventing the opening up of one of the world’s largest untapped coal basins, The Galilee Basin, to coal mining export.
- The Jewish Climate Network was established with the aim of catalysing the Jewish community to support and strongly advocate for action on the climate emergency. Inspired by the Jewish value of pikuach nefesh, the saving of life, they feel they have no choice but to step up and take action.
- unChain Inc is a community-based organisation that led the successful community campaign that stopped the Council proposed over development of the St Kilda Triangle. We engage and empower residents to keep the City of Port Phillip Councillors and Staff accountable for their actions.
- Locals Into Victoria’s Environment (LIVE) is a community organisation based in the City Port Phillip. Their goal is to reduce the human contribution to, and the impact of, climate change on our planet. They do this by creating and delivering information, facilitating actions, involvement in campaigns and influencing decision makers.
- Port Phillip Alliance for Sustainability (PASS) is a community group bringing together residents and groups concerned with climate change and Port Phillip responses. It focuses primarily on Council policy and action, but also addresses State and Commonwealth issues. Contact Jack Halliday, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Elwood Floods Action Group (Eflag) informs you about how the area experiences flooding, what you can do to prepare for and respond to future floods, and what you can expect from various government agencies and associated bodies in times of severe weather.
- Extinction Rebellion Port Phillip (XR Port Phillip) is part of a global movement of creative civil disobedience in response to the climate and ecological emergency we are facing. They meet on Tuesday evenings at 6.00pm at the Post Hotel in Inkerman St, St Kilda.
Beach Patrol Australia is a network of beach clean-up groups spanning around Port Phillip Bay from Geelong to Rye.
There are five Beach Patrol groups in Port Phillip:
- 3182 St Kilda Beach Patrol
- 3184 Elwood Beach Patrol
- 3205 South Melbourne Beach Patrol
- 3206 Albert Park Beach Patrol
- 3207 Port Melbourne Beach Patrol
Find out more about Beach Patrol Australia and how to get involved.
Love Our Street is the neighbourhood version of Beach Patrol.
Love Our Street is growing, with groups now doing monthly cleans and several more groups in development.
There are four Love Our Street groups in Port Phillip:
- 3184 Elwood Love Our Street
- 3185 Balaclava Ripponlea Love Our Street
- 3205 South Melbourne Love Our Street
- 3207 Port Melbourne Love Our Street
Find out more about Love Our Street and how to get involved.
Earthcare St Kilda volunteers work on a number of marine and terrestrial projects aimed at protecting our local natural environment, as well as increasing the diversity and extent of indigenous flora and fauna. Key projects include research and providing visitor guides for the St Kilda Little Penguin colony; seagrass mapping, removing pest sea stars, and litter removal and revegetation of open space.
Earthcare works closely with us to improve the local environment. One of their main aims is to preserve and increase indigenous vegetation areas across Port Phillip. Earthcare also hosts many community activities throughout Port Phillip each year.
Find out more about Earthcare St Kilda and options to get involved including by becoming a member or volunteering.
Friends of Elster Creek aim to involve the local community in caring for Elster Creek and the Elwood Canal.
The group do waterwatch monitoring which involves monthly water quality testing in Elster Creek and quarterly testing in the golf course lake.
Friends of Elster Creek hold a range of activities at Elster Creek and Elwood Canal. Notice of these is given on the Earthcare St Kilda website, Friends of Elster Creek on Facebook and to Earthcare members via email.
Westgate Biodiversity is a non-profit organisation, providing local native plants and bush foods to Council, residents, landscapers and community groups in the Port Phillip area.
Residents can volunteer their time to learn about plant propagation and help the environment. Courses are available on issues such as bush foods and plants for the home garden.
There is also a Friends of Westgate Park group, responsible for the revegetation of Westgate Park; the 40 hectare park under the Westgate Bridge in Port Melbourne. To find out more about the Friends of Westgate Park group, contact Westgate Biodiversity.
Visiting Bili nursery
Nursery staff are on hand to offer expert advice and assist with all enquiries.
The Jewish Ecological Coalition (JECO) is a not-for-profit organisation, set up to emphasise and deepen the Jewish commitment to sustainability and to raise awareness within and beyond the Jewish community about Judaism’s strong environmental message.
St Kilda Community Gardens Club provides a facility to allow local residents to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables, and encourages members to work as a group to maintain and improve the facility.
Find out more about St Kilda Community Gardens Club and how to get involved.
The Friends of the St Kilda Botanic Gardens Inc tackles projects including maintenance and restoration of these heritage gardens by encouraging community members to become involved in the gardens and participate in activities including hands-on gardening, social events, skills building, fund-raising and advocacy.
Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens is a community focused group, whose aim is to support and volunteer in these gardens. There is close co-operation between the Friends and the Port Phillip EcoCentre in the maintenance of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.
The Friends have members-only events and public gatherings. Membership includes regular newsletters, updates on upcoming events and invitations to take part in members-only activities. Membership fees aid the well-being and development of the gardens, as well as the community around them. Through plant sales and other community events, the Friends group raises funds to purchase plants stock and equipment for the gardens.
LIVE is a non-profit, community organisation whose goal is to reduce the human contribution to, and the impact of, climate change on our planet. They do this by creating and delivering information, facilitating actions, involvement in campaigns and influencing decision makers.
Te-Arai Community Garden aims to be a bountiful, colourful, safe and shared community space, fostering community togetherness, respect and trust. A space for gardeners of all ages and cultures to appreciate the opportunity to grow and share fresh produce and gardening tips. A space for the whole neighbourhood.
Port Phillip Bicycle Users’ Group (BUG) has been working towards making riding better for more people. They take Port Phillip councillors on bike rides of their wards to show them what needs to be done to improve conditions on the roads and bike paths. They also make submissions to Council’s budget and transport strategy.
Find out more about the Port Phillip BUG and how to get involved.