Delivering a Greener West – Improving Biodiversity in Werribee River Regional Park

When we work together, we can achieve so much more.

Celebrating People and Parks Day at Werribee Park with our corporate partners, Parks Victoria and local community, October 2017.

Melbourne’s West is the fastest growing region by population. Environmental and recreational opportunities to connect people who live in the outer western suburbs to nature, for improved health and wellbeing, have not grown at the same pace as the population.

We’re passionate about finding ways to enhance our local environment and ensuring that everyone has regular access to quality nature spaces.

Between 2017 and 2020, the People and Parks Foundation, Parks VictoriaCDC VictoriaCMV Truck and BusVolgren  and the National Landcare Program collaborated on a project to deliver environmental outcomes in Werribee River Regional Park, contributing to improved biodiversity in Melbourne’s outer west.

Our project focused on planting in areas of the park which had suffering as a result of invasive flora and fauna species inhibiting the growth of native and endemic flora and fauna.

Before revegetation: Werribee River Regional Park infested with noxious weeds like Spiny Rush. Revegetation will focus on re-introducing native and endemic vegetation to the park, to encourage and promote biodiversity.

Our aim was to go beyond simply planting more trees for canopy cover – we wanted to be able to future-proof the biodiversity of the park by planting species endemic to the Werribee River riparian and woodland zones. We worked with our partners and regional biodiversity experts to develop a planting plan that included over 5300 plants from a variety of species from trees, to medium-sized bushes and shrubs to ground cover.

Volunteer Planting Day, July 2019

The revegetation work took place over several community volunteer planting days. We had a fantastic uptake of participation from the local community, Parks Victoria staff and several TAFE and school groups. We even had lunch cooked for us by the local Karen community based at Werribee Park.

We also worked with Wyndham City Council, Parks Victoria, NatureWest and the Wyndham-based Teachers Environmental Network to create an educational handout for primary school aged children. The handout, which is available to download, features interactive and informative activities for children ages 5-10. Teachers can build more resources around the handout itself to deliver a more tailored lesson specific to the needs and abilities of their students. We’ve also included an answer sheet for teachers for the games involved. Most importantly, the handout provides pathways for further exploration of local environmental issues and themes.

To download the handout, click here.

To download the handout with answers (no cheating!), click here.

We are proud of the work that’s been achieved at Werribee in partnership. Don’t forget to stop by Werribee River Regional Park to check out the progress of our planting work next time you’re in the park!