Moonah Woodland Community Restoration
The Moonah Woodland Community Restoration program is a ‘Nature Wise’ program bringing environmental and human health back together.
The People and Parks Foundation is working in partnership with Parks Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and a number of engaged community members to create a ‘Moonah NatureWise Community’ program for the southern part of the Mornington Peninsula.
Coastal Moonah Woodland is dominated structurally by Moonah Melaleuca lanceolata, a stunning tree that twists into striking shapes, iconic and beloved across both the Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria.
As a plant community, Coastal Moonah Woodland is important because it helps stabilise dune systems and prevent erosion caused by climate and sea level changes
Now with less than 8% of its original distribution, Coastal Moonah Woodland is listed as a threatened community under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. In its final recommendation, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC 1998) determined that Coastal Moonah Woodland:
- has a restricted distribution in the state due to the reliance on soil type and coastal influences;
- is in a demonstrable state of decline which is likely to result in extinction.
This innovative program focuses on restoring the iconic and threatened Moonah Woodland Community on the Mornington Peninsula by engaging the local community in NatureWise activities, based on the evidence-based concept of Nature Dosing. Nature Dosing is both connecting with and caring for nature for at least two hours a week, for healthier people, places and planet.
This highly engaging cross-sector program will encourage and support people to Nature Dose with and for enhanced local Moonah Community Woodland. ‘Moonah NatureWise’ aims to deliver multiple benefits, including environmental outcomes, health and wellbeing outcomes, and a broader, deeper community sense of agency and connection to place in the face of biodiversity loss, climate change and, for many, eco-anxiety.
Priority Moonah sites – across tenure:
Nature is not bound by tenure. We bring together cross-tenure partnerships to maximise the engagement, resources, impact and sustainability of our programs. For Moonah Nature Wise, our current land manager partners have identified priority remnant areas of Moonah that require urgent remediation and protection in both the Police Point Shire Park and the Point Nepean National Park.
We will engage local residents, environmental groups, visitors to these parks and local school communities in environmental restoration activities in these priority locations, as well as facilitating community environmental action and education for Moonah Woodland Communities closer to home. This will include Moonah community propagation and plantings, ongoing maintenance, and not least, Moonah celebrations (eg. through arts and events) on school grounds, in community areas and potentially, on private properties.
We are confident the success of this initial Moonah NatureWise program will attract additional land and water managers into a broader and deeper iteration of Moonah NatureWise.
Schools and Community
Our partner school/s will be supported to not only connect with and protect existing remnants of Moonah Woodland, they will also be supported to propagate, plant, care for and celebrate their own pockets of Moonah Woodland on or near their school campus. School households will be encouraged to actively support this program, including considering what they can do at home to protect and promote the health of their local environment, and themselves, through regular Nature Dosing.
Community events and activities will be additional opportunities to promote the program and engage local residents and visitors alike in the history and ongoing value of our Moonah Community Woodlands. The program will advocate for the need to nurture nature and highlight the benefits of actively caring for nature.