The first stop on the Bayside Biodiversity field trip will be to Westgate Park where Friends of Westgate Park will introduce this maturing revegetation project.Planted with species from Melbourne’s sandbelt, the Park also provides a range of environments for birds. So close to the city, and yet feeling so far away,this is a great time of year to visit the Park when so many of the plants are in flower. You will have great view of Melbourne as you admire the Salt Lake system, ending with a morning tea.
Next up is St Kilda West Beach which has a particularly interesting history. Due to offshore construction of St Kilda Breakwater in 1956 the beach has widened by around 150 metres and was colonised by various weeds and local native plants. Since 1989 it has been developed as the West Beach Natural History Area to showcase the original plant communities of the region.
You will the move on to a tour of the Port Phillip EcoCentre, where environmental solutions are hatched and nurtured. This will also give you a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy catching up with your fellow field trippers over a casual lunch enjoying local produce.
After lunch take in the surrounds with a short walk to St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Gio Fitzpatrick who was highly commended in the 2015 Young Landcare Leader Award and received the 2016 United Nations Australia Association World Environment Day Award in the ‘individual’ category will lead the group on an Indigenous Perspectives on Biodiversity tour.
The afternoon continues on to Elwood Canal which is a unique seam of open space running through the urban fabric of Elwood. In its former life it was the Elster Creek, which drained to a swamp near the beach. Today the Elwood Canal Master Plan of Port Phillip Council is guiding its restoration from a drain to an aesthetic waterway.
Before the group heads back to Melbourne lean more about The Long Beach Trail, connecting remnant native vegetation and wetlands across the landscape.
Cost $60.00 per person (includes transport, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea).
*There will be quite a bit of walking on this field trip, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
The Coastal Bayside field trip will depart from Southern Cross Station at 8.15am on Wednesday, 21 September 2016.