Grow West’s annual ‘Greener, Brighter, Future’ exhibition has gone online at Moor Art Space for the second year, and this time is showcasing the past winners of the Grow West Landscape Art Prize.
Since 2005, Grow West has sponsored the annual Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh Art Sale and Exhibition through the Grow West Landscape Art Prize. Artists of all levels enter artworks in any medium that expresses their understanding and appreciation of the work done to protect the precious, yet fragile, environment in the Grow West area.
Through this sponsorship, the project has acquired 16 pieces of artwork, depicting the Grow West landscape and these are now available to view online all throughout September. The featured artworks include pieces by Dennis Cotter, Geoff Paynter, Alison Durham, Ri Van Veen, Bernie McRitchie and more.
Grow West is proud to partner with Moorabool Shire Council to share these amazing pieces of artwork online with the community.
To view the online exhibition visit Moor Art @ Lerderderg Library | Moorabool Shire Council
After the highly anticipated Grow West Community Planting Day had to be cancelled for the second year in a row, we’ve worked hard to ensure the trees still made it into the ground, with 4,000 indigenous trees and shrubs planted at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Maddingley last week.
The Grow West annual community planting day event has been running for over 15 years, attracting over 200 volunteers across the state to help plant indigenous plants in the upper Werribee Catchment. The 2021 event was sadly cancelled twice this year, once on the 5thJune, World Environment Day and again on the 24th of July, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
The event was to be held at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Maddingley, a five-hectare reserve that supports a diverse understory of native grasses and shrubs. Thanks to a last-minute sponsorship from Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria, Grow West was able to employ contractors to help get the 4,000 plants in the ground before the end of the planting season.
It is envisaged that the reserve will become an important thoroughfare for the community, with walking tracks connecting new suburbs of Bacchus Marsh to the train station and main street.
This project contributes to the Grow West vision of rejuvenating 10,000 hectares of land by connecting the You Yangs Regional Park, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and Lerderderg State Park through a mosaic of restoration works on private and public land.
Grow West is a partnership between Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, Melbourne Water, Moorabool Shire Council and Southern Rural Water. This project was made possible thanks to its sponsors – SureGrow Treemax, 15 Trees, GJ Gardner Homes, Bacchus Marsh Community Bank, and Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria – and the support of the Friends of Werribee Gorge and Long Forest Mallee, Moorabool Landcare Network, Victorian National Parks Association, Bacchus Marsh Lions Club and the Victorian Mobile Landcare Group.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the annual Grow West Community Planting Day. As you know, the event was originally scheduled for 5 June, but had to be moved to Saturday 24 July..
We have made the decision not to reschedule the event as this will place us too late into the planting season and with all the uncertainty ahead of us, we feel it best to get contractors to plant the 4,000 trees when it is permissible to do so.
We want to thank everyone – our event partners, sponsors and volunteers – for being flexible and adaptable. We are so sad to have had to cancel this wonderful event for the second year.
Please stay safe and take care.
We will report back on the planting day site and its restoration in the Grow West enewsletter so please sign up if you would like to receive updates.
Please note that the planting day has been rescheduled from Saturday 5th June to Saturday 24th July. If you had registered for the June date your registration has been transferred and we hope you are able to join us on the 24th July to plant 4,000 indigenous plants. If you are not able to attend, we ask that you cancel your ticket online, so it can free up a place for another volunteer.
Green thumbs are invited to roll up their sleeves and help plant 4,000 native plants in Bacchus Marsh at the 15th annual Grow West Community Planting Day on Saturday 24th July 2021.
The annual planting day is one of Grow West’s biggest events and is an important opportunity to rejuvenate and restore local landscapes. This highly anticipated community event was sadly cancelled in 2020 but is back this year bigger and better than ever.
The planting day will be held at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Bacchus Marsh. The five-hectare reserve forms an important urban biolink, connecting the escarpment with the Werribee River that runs through town, In the future, it will become an important thoroughfare for the community, with walking tracks connecting new suburbs of Bacchus Marsh to the train station and main street.
What’s new in 2021
The Grow West Community Planting Day will run a bit differently to previous years, with volunteers being split into a morning session (9.30am – 12pm) and afternoon session (1.30pm – 4pm). Volunteers can select their preference when registering.
Morning/afternoon tea will be provided at each session, but there will be no lunch provided. Instead, we are asking our volunteers to help support our local food venues by visiting for lunch or dinner before or after you have attended a planting session.
For more information, including a list of local food venues, download the Grow West Planting Day Information Pack. Please take the time to read this before registering.
You will need to select your session (morning or afternoon) when booking. Please only book into one session. Please make sure you register a ticket for every attendee, including children.
Registrations will be open until 19th July or until booked out.
About Kel Shields Reserve
The Kel Shields Reserve was named after Bacchus Marsh community member and former Shire President, the late Kelvin Shields. Kelvin (Kel) was born in Bacchus Marsh in September 1923 and was elected to the Bacchus Marsh Shire Council in 1967, serving until his passing in 1989.
In addition to his role on the Shire Council, Kel was an active member of the Bacchus Marsh Conservation and Planning Association and other local organisations including the Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society and the Bacchus Marsh Football Club.
Former Bacchus Marsh and District Conservation and Planning Association President, Don Journet, said the planting of the trees currently found at Kel Shields Flora Reserve were a project of the association in the early 1980s.
“They were planted as an example of Australian native species from a wide range of habitats, which explain why the species growing there are not all local species”, he said.
“The association also assisted with local revegetation projects such along Myers’s Road into the Werribee Gorge (after the construction of the Western Freeway), and at Organ Pipes National Park.”
When the association closed in the mid-1980s, it passed its remaining funds onto the Friends of Werribee Gorge and Long Forest, who are long-time partner of Grow West and the planting days.
Grow West is a partnership between Port Phillip &Westernport CMA, Melbourne Water, Moorabool ShireCouncil and Southern Rural Water.
The Grow West Community Planting Day is an annual event is run by Grow West in partnership with Victorian National Parks Association, Friends of Werribee Gorge and Long Forest Mallee, Bacchus Marsh Lions Club, Victorian Mobile Landcare Group.
The 2021 event is funded through the generous supportof SureGro Treemax, Bacchus Marsh Community Bank,15 Trees, G.J. Gardner Homes and Moorabool ShireCouncil.
Grow West is a proud sponsor of the Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh Art Sale and Exhibition and is again running the Grow West Landscape Art Prize in 2021.
Artists of all levels are invited to enter a work in any medium that expresses their understanding and appreciation of the work done to protect the precious, yet fragile, environment in the Grow West area.
$500 acquisition prize for the winning artwork.
The Bacchus Marsh Rotary Club Art Show, which features the Grow West Landscape Acquisitive Prize, has been postponed. Rather than being held over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, it will now be held from 3-5 September.
Entries closes: Friday 28th May 2021
About Grow West
Grow West is one of Australia’s most ambitious programs of landscape restoration. Launched in 2003, its vision is to revegetate thousands of hectares of land in the Upper Werribee Catchment by connecting large areas of public reserves in Brisbane Ranges National Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and Lerderderg State Park through a mosaic of revegetation works across public and private properties.
Potential sites to visit for inspiration
The follow locations are sites where Grow West has achieved large-scale landscape change:
- Revegetation leading into Bacchus Marsh from Ballarat on the Western Freeway
- Revegetation and forestry in the Rowsley Valley, along Glenmore Road
- Remnant vegetation protection on Iron Bark Road leading into the Werribee Gorge from Bacchus Marsh
- Revegetation at the Racecourse & Recreation Reserve, Balliang – Bacchus Marsh Road, Bacchus Marsh
- Revegetation and Forestry at Tramway Lane at Bald Hill Bacchus Marsh
- Various sites near Palmers Lane and Myers Road adjacent to the Werribee Gorge
Also see the Before and After Photos section of this website.
Wildlife spotting is always exciting, but it’s particularly thrilling when the species hasn’t been seen in the area for a long time. This happened recently on David Muir’s property in Myrniong, where a koala visited for the first time in 10 years.
The property is part of the Myrniong and Korkuperrimul biolinks which provides a strategic link to the Lerderderg State Park. The koala was spotted at the site of the 2012 Grow West Community Planting Day site, where 200 volunteers planted 6,500 indigenous trees and shrubs and the famous 1 millionth Grow West tree was planted by the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Ryan Smith MP.
Koalas are seen in Lerderderg State Park but don’t often venture onto farm land because of the lack of vegetation connecting large tracks of remnant vegetation in the public reserve to private land.
It’s only been through the establishment of the biolinks that these animals have started venturing further afield, feeling more comfortable to traverse the agricultural landscape with a good food source at hand.
Grow West is excited to announce that they are partnering with 15 Trees, Gardens for Wildlife and Moorabool Shire Council, for the 2021 Grow West Community Planting Day, which will be held at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Bacchus Marsh.
The annual planting day, which was sadly cancelled in 2020, will be held on Saturday 5 June to celebrate World Environment Day).
The six hectare site, located in the township of Bacchus Marsh, forms an important urban biolink, connecting the escarpment with the Werribee River that runs through town. The aim of the works will be to rehabilitate an escarpment back to an open Grassy Woodland ecosystem.
It currently has a healthy cover of nine native grass species, dotted with the locally endemic Bacchus Marsh Varnish Wattle and the rare Fragrant Salt Bush.
Unfortunately, the site is also host to Peppercorns, Boxthorn and Prickly Pear. Thankfully, with the help of Moorabool Shire’s bush crew and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority’s Environment and Agriculture Work Crews, we have been able to remove a large portion of the weeds from the site.
For more information on 2021 Grow West Community Planting Day and to be informed when registrations open, sign up to the Grow West enewsletter.
It has been a quiet year on the landscape change front, with only three sites participating in revegetation activities and the cancellation of a major community event.
G.J Gardener Homes Bacchus Marsh via 15 Trees and Tripod Farmers Bacchus Marsh sponsored 480 indigenous plants to be planted on a local farm in Rowsley. Getting the trees in the ground was a family affair with even the kids getting involved! (pictured above left).
The last of the Greening the West 1 Million Trees project participant, planted 11,375 seedlings and undertook 44km of direct seeding this season.
The much-anticipated annual Grow West Community Planting Day event, which normally attracts 200-300 volunteers from across the region, sadly had to be cancelled.
We are happy to report that the site has now been planted by contractors with 6,300 seedlings across an area of 13.8 hectares, along 2.3km of Balliang Creek. Pictured above is the three generations that live on the farm watching the trees grow.
A big thanks to our sponsors; Melbourne Water, Bacchus Marsh Community Bank, Bacchus Marsh Lions Club, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal- ANZ Seeds for Renewal Program, and the Australian Government Communities for Environment Program for making this happen.
Despite all the challenges that 2020 has presented, Grow West and its landholders were able to continue contributing to a greener, brighter future for our children, by planting 18,155 indigenous plants in the upper Werribee Catchment.
For the last four years, the ‘Protecting and connecting species and communities in Melbourne’s west’ project has worked to protect and enhance threatened plants and animals in the Upper Werribee Catchment by undertaking large-scale pest plant and animal control programs.
Efforts have been concentrated within the three large public reserves – Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and Brisbane Ranges National Park – covering an area of approximately 30,000 hectares.
In addition, the project engaged with landholders, adjoining the Brisbane Ranges National Park who assisted with identification of pest plant and animals, and the Traditional Owners, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, undertook essential weed control in the Werribee Gorge and Long Forest reserves.
The large-scale pest plant and animal threat mitigation activities undertaken in the four reserves provided a large boost to the works that had previously been carried out by groups and landholders to protect and enhance threatened species and communities.
The project targeted goats, deer, rabbits, pigs, and cats along with pest weed species; Sallow Wattle, Gorse, African Weed Orchid and Serrated Tussock.
The project has achieved great on-ground environmental outcomes through a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach. By working together, both private and public land managers had a positive and lasting impact on the landscape with the support of the partner organisations, Port Phillip &Westernport CMA, the Department of Land, Water, Environment and Planning and Trust for Nature.
Project achievements 2017-20
Werribee Gorge State Park
858 ha Serrated Tussock
1,281 ha rabbits
Lerderderg State Park
34,600 ha goat control
21,628 ha cat control
42,248 ha pig control
Brisbane Ranges National Park
3,666 ha Gorse
5,180 ha Sallow Wattle
22,086 ha deer control
28,309 ha goat control
14,971 ha cat control
1,970 ha African Weed Orchid surveyed
Long Forest Conservation Nature Reserve
1,278 ha Serrated Tussock
34 properties assessed
1,651 ha assessed
19 species of weeds observed
While the 2020 Grow West Community Planting Day has sadly been cancelled, we’re please to report that the trees planted back in July 2019 as part of the 2019 planting day are doing very well.
The landholders, Rick and Nadia, and their neighbours, Bill and Airlie are amazed by the growth rates of the plants that were planted by our wonderful team of volunteers last year.
We have had some exceptional rain events throughout the 12 months that have helped the seedlings survive their first summer and continue to grow into 2020. Some are popping out of the guards!
Thank you to all those that had helped in 2019 and we look forward to your support at the 2021 planting day.