Council encourages the community to be involved and have ownership of their open space.
Community activities, education days, teacher education evenings improve the community's knowledge of the environmental issues we face. Working together as a team ensures that we all improve the environment we live in.
Council provides the following to ensure community groups and landcare groups have direction and support in the development and maintenance projects they carry out in Council's public open space:
provide a site or park they wish to maintain or develop
provide materials and plants for planting projects
attend meetings or meet on site to discuss programs
provide advice on vegetation and planting issues
assist in media coverage of events
provide Council's community trailer containing signage, safety gear and tools prepare sites before planting events
provide the use of Council's community nursery for propagation of plants and training in propagation methods
The Ballarat region has an active environmental community represented by individuals and families, environment groups and networks, Landcare groups, volunteer organisations and government agencies. As with many community groups, it is left to a small few to organise meetings, planting days, clean up days and education days for schools. Council assists by programming events, giving direction and assisting with materials such as trees, stakes and guards. New volunteers are always welcome.
Following are just some of the community based groups that provide valuable environmental work throughout the Ballarat region.
South Ballarat Urban Land Care Group (SBULG)
Assist in the development and maintenance of Geelong Road (Adopt a Roadside) - tree planting and litter collection, Peady Street Reserve - weed removal, tree planting, The Enviro Trail Project - tree planting, signage design and installation, James Park (Buninyong) - weed control and tree planting litter removal, Redan Wetland and Hocking Avenue Wetland - tree planting and weed removal. Mount Buninyong - assist in tree planting days, Cathcart Street Buninyong - bush block weed control.
Peady Street Reserve Friends Group
Peady Street Reserve is maintained and developed by the friends group and Mount Pleasant Primary School. Mount Pleasant Primary School use the reserve for outdoor studies in environmental issues, tree planting and weed control. The Friends Group is very active and holds regular working bees, weed removal and tree planting. Over the years they have successfully applied for funding on a number of occasions. They have purchased tools and spraying equipment to assist in maintaining the reserve.
Miners Rest Landcare Group
Miners Rest Landcare Group membership is expanding due to the development of the area. Councils involvement is to attend meetings when invited and to assist with planting days by supply trees and materials. They maintain Miners Rest Wetland and control gorse on private land and waterways. They hold community planting days and organize local schools to assist. Miner Rest and Ballarat Grammar are very successful in obtaining grant funding from DSE for gorse control.
Cardigan Windermere Landcare Group
Cardigan Windermere Landcare Group consists of 50 active members who assist Council in maintaining Winter Swamp and the Ballarat Common. They seek funding for gorse control and tree planting for Winter Swamp.
Lake Esmond is maintained by the City of Ballarat and the Rotary Club of Ballarat. They hold regular working bees replacing old retaining walls, steps and other furniture, tree planting and general cleaning up. Council support is required to assist in the development and to supply equipment and materials for projects.
Poverty Point is maintained by the Rotary Club of Ballarat East who look after tree planting and general cleaning up of the area. Council assists by supply materials and preparing the site for tree planting.
Sparrow Ground Friends Group
This group hold regular working bees to look after weed removal, tree planting, and rubbish removal.
Adopt a Stream Side (Pennyweight Gully)
Residents whose properties back on to Pennyweight formed a group to maintain this area. They control weeds along the waterway and hold regular working bees to water trees and maintain the trail.
Mount Buninyong Management Advisory Committee
Mount Buninyong Committee consists of members from various groups represented on the committee. It is made of the Ward Councillor (Chair), a Council officer, a community member, a fire officer, and representatives of the Upper Williamsons Creek Land Care Group, the Mount Buninyong Conservation Group, the Koala Foundation, and the Ballarat Environment Network. The Committee is active in the development and maintenance of Mount Buninyong by seeking funding and organising tree planting days and weed removal with all groups involved.
Lake Burrumbeet Advisory Committee
This group consists of local land holders, fishing club, yacht club, ski club, bird observers and field and game members. They are active in seeking funding for the development of the lake weed control, erosion control and tree planting.
Lake Learmonth Advisory Committee
Members are very dedicated to the development of the Lake Master Plan approved by Council. They organise their own tree planting and development works as per the Master Plan. They are very successful in obtaining grant funding. They organized to have their own trees grown for the 2005 tree planting.
Invermay Land Care Group
Invermay group maintain roadsides in their area by removing weeds and tree planting. Council supplies trees and gives direction and assists on tree planting days with road signage and safety for group members working on road sides.
Ballarat Environment Network
Ballarat Environment Network assist Council with the development and maintenance of our waterways and walking trails. They have been partners with Council and other agencies in applying for funding over the last ten years. In 2005/06 they have successfully obtained substantial funding from the CCMA of $450,000 for the next three years. Ballarat Environment Network will be able to continue to support Council's Community Indigenous Nursery by supplying a person to operate the nursery to propagate stock required for Council's projects for the coming planting (Jun/July 80,000 plants), by supporting all community groups with education and by holding planting days for schools and friends groups. Planting days fully support all environment activities that schools wish to be involved in. The external funding secured over the last ten years with amounts exceeding one million dollars from the CCMA, GHCMA, DSE, CLV has enabled Council to achieve the completion of the walking trail network and the transformation of waterways from drains to vegetated wildlife corridors.
Great Dividing Trail Network
This group is run by two people who are very dedicated to the development of trail networks not only in Ballarat but in Victoria. They work closely with Council in establishing new trail networks and applying for grants.
Ballarat Breakfast Club Rotary
This Club helps Council to maintain the Nerrina wetland with weed removal, tree planting, painting furniture and litter collection. Council assists with direction and with other assistance on planting days.
Pryor Park Friends Group
Pryor Park is maintained by the Friends Group, who hold regular working bees to plant trees and control weeds.