What you need to know
Protecting our natural environment
Caring for wildlife, native plants and our natural places
Council and our community have an important role to play in helping to look after nature in Moonee Valley. Read on to discover some of the precious natural spaces and how you can help care for our wildlife, native plants and natural spaces.
Our native grasslands
Native grasslands have been discovered in three reserves in East Keilor and Avondale Heights - The Crossway South Reserve, Arcade Way Reserve and JH Allan Reserve.
The Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain are critically endangered and protected by both the state and federal law.
Less than 0.5% of the original grasslands remain making the patches in our backyard extremely rare and precious.
We didn't forget to mow, here's why we let the grasslands grow
- We are saving species: Our grasslands are one of the world's most diverse ecosystems with up to 80 flora species per metre. In ecological terms, this patch of grass is as important as the Great Barrier Reef.
- They'll be burnt soon: Instead of mowing, we'll undertake planned burns. Burning grasslands help more plants grow and reduces the use of herbicides.
- They help combat climate change: They have really deep roots (some as deep as a human's height) that can pull carbon into the soil and capture it as well as trees do.
- We're only beginning to unlock their potential: They could be revolutionary in the fields of farming and medicine and the seeds are so unique specialists collect them to save species.
Art in the Wildflowers
To highlight the importance and beauty of the grasslands, our Conservation department teamed up with the Incinerator Gallery to create an open-air art gallery in the Crossway South Reserve.
Taking inspiration from the native wildflowers in the grasslands, artists Abbey Rich and Jimmy Dvate have created murals on the walls that border the reserve.
Watch the video to see the murals and learn more.
The project was funded through the Victorian Government’s Caring for Our Local Environments program.
Video subtitles are available in Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.
For the kids
Have a go at creating your own work of art inspired by our precious wildflowers.
If you're unable to visit the grasslands yourself, you can download a colouring adventure and treasure hunt here.
Find out more about the plants and animals of the grasslands
Where to find the wildflowers
Wildlife corridors connect isolated ecosystems. They allow animals, and the seeds they carry, to move through the tree canopy, under bushes or among the ground cover.
Moonee Valley’s key wildlife corridors are along the Moonee Ponds Creek, Steele Creek, Five Mile Creek and the Maribyrnong River Valley. Council is working to enhance the habitat along these corridors.
Private gardens play a vital role in strengthening existing corridors and creating new stepping stones for birds and other wildlife. Your backyard frog bog could be an important hopping spot for local frogs to travel between a wetland and a creek. Native wildflowers in pots can boost habitat beneficial insects, including pollinators for our vegetable gardens and natural pest control for our street trees.
The Junior Ranger program is a fun way for kids to interact with local flora and fauna in parks across Moonee Valley.
What do Junior Rangers do?
Junior Rangers use their kits to explore and discover plants and animals.
Rangers will discover ducks, water hens, cockatoos, and even rainbow lorikeets, along with native plants such as the banksia and various eucalyptus species.
Junior Rangers also help to spread the words of a clever little fellow called Zac: "To save the ducks, don’t feed them".
Find out why this is important for the health of our birdlife by watching this short animation.
Junior Ranger Kit
Print your own guide and map at home before embarking on your outdoor adventure. If you have binoculars or a magnifying glass you can even build your own kit.
- flora and fauna map of Moonee Valley (pdf, 1.15MB)
- guide to help kids find the plants and animals (pdf, 1.60MB)
- Moonee Valley wildlife bingo
A full ranger kit including the guide, map, binoculars, magnifying glass, and a sticker for all your hard work can be borrowed from Sam Merrifield Library (762 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds) on the day. School classes and large groups should contact 8325 1950 to book in advance.
Wildlife Friendly Gardening
Bring nature into your home by planting local native vegetation.
Native gardens are good for you and our local wildlife. By Adding local native plants to your garden you’ll:
- Grown plants are adapted to our soils and climate, so they won’t need too much work or watering.
- Help keep our wildlife naturally healthy and happy for generations to come.
- Be joining a network of gardeners creating connections between habitats across Melbourne.
- Help to look after native pollinators who keep our vegetable gardens productive.
- Bring beneficial insects to the garden for natural pest control.
- Help to reduce populations of pest animals (including Common Myna birds).
- Contribute to keeping our urban forest healthy and our suburbs cooler.
Read more in our wildlife-friendly gardening guide (pdf, 6MB).
Nature Strip Planting
You can put some nature back into our nature strips. Residents can personalise their nature strips by choosing their own plants. To view the policy click here and search for Nature Strip Landscaping Policy.
You can also view our Frequently Asked Questions here
Find a local community group helping to look after our natural spaces
Our community groups are important partners in helping us to look after our natural environment. Community team up to help plant nature strips, share knowledge, look after our creeks and help celebrate our natural spaces.
Connect with other people interested in the environment. Find an environmental community group near you in our Community Group Directory.