Protected and enhanced natural environment
A healthier environment for future generations.
Key strategies to achieve our objective include:
Find out what we’re doing to support connected and healthy communities in Yarra Ranges.
Our major initiatives
- Habitat restoration via the Ribbons of Green program with preparation for 50,570 plants to be planted in the winter months of 2020.
- Weed control works happening on private and public land via the Peri-Urban Weed Partnership, Birds to Butterfield (B2B) and Bio Hubs programs using the some of the $450,000 grant funding received from Department Environment Land Water and Planning (DWELP).
- Council officers have also been working with private landholders and agencies regarding deer control using the funding of the B2B. B2B and the Remnant Vegetation Protection Program have also been working with private landholders and agencies to fence off remnant vegetation from the damaging impact of domestic stock.
- Our Biodiversity Conservation team has been working with our Safer Communities team to ensure that fire prevention notices are issued with an understanding that targeting weeds can result in good outcomes environmentally as well as for fuel reduction.
Improved parks and reserves
- Significant sports field upgrades are almost complete at Kimberley Reserve Chirnside Park, Pinks Reserve Kilsyth, Powelltown Reserve and Warburton Reserve.
- A new, modern play space opened at Rolling Hills in Mooroolbark during December, while works at the new Warburton Community Recreation Precinct’s playspace and water play are progressing well.
- Community engagement on the review of our Climate and Adaptation Plan continued. Around 200 people attended the Community Solutions in a Changing Climate event organised by Council in August.
- We reaffirmed our commitment to taking action on climate change by supporting, at a public Council meeting in September, a report and motion recognising we face a global climate emergency which requires urgent action by all levels of government. The report highlighted the significant action Council had already been taking to reduce its carbon footprint, including the installation of solar panels on 36 Council and community buildings, and programs to support residents and businesses to reduce their own emissions.
- The Warburton Community Hydro project is complete with a well-attended launch in late October. The hydro power plant is fully operational with all licences and conditions approved by Melbourne Water. A second hydro power plant is now in early phases of investigation.
- The use of Council's former landfill sites as solar power farms is in the final stages of a tender development.
- Three Environmental Upgrade Agreements have been approved by Council, enabling solar systems to be installed on each of the businesses. The official launch was at 4 Pillars Gin Distillery in Healesville, this upgrade not only enabled the distillery to generate all their own power with a 70kW power system installed, it also doubled operations and staffing numbers, a real boost to the local economy.
- We continued to work with local community groups to maintain and enhance bushland sites and promoted a series of educational events aimed to increase awareness and appreciation of the environment.
- Interpretative signs have been installed in bushland reserves through the Indigenous Heritage Visibility program to communicate the rich Indigenous heritage of these sites. This project is being developed in partnership with the Wurundjeri community through consultant Brooke Wandin.
100% of Council Plan actions are on track.