Read our project stories and feel inspired
Below are just a few projects that have been brought to life using Our Space Your Place
Garden for Hope, Croydon
Hope City Mission is a community organisation that provides a foodbank service for people in the community who struggle with food security issues. The organisation approached Melbourne Water with a proposal to construct a community garden on the O’Shannassy Pipe Track located adjacent to their distribution centre in Croydon.
Their vision was to build a ‘Garden for Hope’, whereby fresh produce grown from the garden could supplement the significant quantity of food given away every week and provide educational programs to teach people how to grow and prepare healthy eating options. Construction of a linear strip of community garden beds commenced in November 2015, with the first crops sown and harvested a short time later. The construction of garden beds through a ‘Work for the Dole Program’ delivered further social outcomes by providing employment for local youths.
Edithvale-Seaford Wetland Bird Hide, Edithvale
Thousands of visitors to the Edithvale-Seaford Wetland will once again be able to enjoy unparalleled close-up views of its feathered inhabitants. Melbourne Water facilitated the use of our land and a small grant to restore a popular bird hide at the internationally significant Ramsar-listed Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. This was matched by an additional Federal Government grant from the local Member of Parliament, Mark Dreyfus.
The bird hide was constructed in the 1970s and has been closed since early 2010 following a safety assessment. The metal supports beneath the hide had rusted, and critical repairs were needed to ensure the structure’s ongoing safety and enjoyment. The new bird hide will provide a safe location for the community to connect with and better understand the significant biodiversity at Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. The restoration works commenced in April 2016, with the hide to reopen in August 2016.
The Edithvale-Seaford Wetland is the largest natural wetland of its type in the Port Phillip and Westernport basins. At 259 hectares, it is all that remains of Carrum Carrum Swamp, which once covered more than 4,000 hectares from Mordialloc in the north to Frankston in the south.
It is estimated that at any one time, as many as 7,000 birds make the Edithvale-Seaford Wetland their home – including 190 bird species, many of which are migratory species protected under state and Australian legislation.
Improving the health and wellbeing for disadvantaged people, Melton
With the diminishing levels of open space across Melbourne, have you ever seen empty, unused land in your suburbs and thought “why aren’t we using that?”
An innovative not-for-profit called Training Employment Accommodation Mentoring Inc. (TEAM) has begun works to activate such a sight, with a myriad of benefits to the community and surrounding landscape. TEAM is a not-for-profit Registered Training Organisation that assists people with a disability. In 2016, TEAM expressed interest in using an area of Melbourne Waters Sydenham pipe track in the municipality of Melton. The vision is to build a garden and nursery through a program offering job-ready horticultural training, developing skills in indigenous gardening and urban agriculture.
The municipality of Melton in Melbourne’s west has one lowest proportions of public open space of any municipality in Melbourne . Accessible public open space is an integral element of a liveable neighbourhood. It supports health and wellbeing by providing a platform for recreation and social meeting places. Public open space also enhances the resilience of our neighbourhoods by creating environments that cool the micro-climate and provide habitats for fauna.
Opening up underutilised land previously zoned off to utilities is a way that neighbourhoods can increase their proportion of public open space. Below Melbourne Waters Sydenham pipe track is an important water supply for the western suburbs. However above ground is an unused linear strip of land. With support of Melton City Council and careful planning between TEAM and Melbourne Water, water supplies will be protected while encouraging a sense of community.
TEAM have been granted a license to use the site for their social enterprise. Mat Mason, Training Manager at TEAM said “Thanks to this licensing agreement with Melbourne Water, TEAM will run a series of programs utilising a strip of otherwise idle land that will touch the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged people from Melbourne’s western suburbs. It is a place where people from a diverse range of community groups will come together to participate in and learn about urban horticulture and sustainability.”
TEAM expressed interest for this land using the web-based portal Our Place Your Space, through the Melbourne Water website. Our Place Your Space is designed to help people find details of available land and express their interest in using it for community benefit. As the custodian of over 33,000 hectares of land across greater Melbourne, the vision is for more groups just like TEAM to create healthy places across Melbourne Waters land.