Community stewardship

Our natural environment is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of our community. Stewardship of this environment is a shared responsibility and we are actively working to raise awareness and build greater community understanding and participation in preserving our natural spaces.

We do this by encouraging and supporting residents and local environmental groups through a range of programs and activities to learn about and become actively involved in protecting and caring for our natural environment and biodiversity.


Our achievements so far

  • Supported over 5,000 volunteer work hours annually across Landcare and environmental friends groups to protect biodiversity and enhance our natural environment.
  • Established and continue to support the Doncaster Hill Community Food Garden where local volunteers grow fresh produce donated to local charities.
  • Conducted a range of community education programs, workshops and events to engage locals to participate in the care, restoration and protection of the local environment.
  • Supported Waterwatch program volunteers monitor water health and quality of over 29 waterway sites across Manningham.
  • Facilitated community involvement in the Aussie backyard bird count, Frog Census, NatureSpot and Platyspot.
  • Hosted National Tree Day events.
  • Providing residents free energy saving advice and solar installation services in partnership with the Solar Savers Program — Register for a free solar and/or battery quote and get access to state and local government rebates and subsidies.


Building awareness, educating and connecting our community with nature.

What we are doing:

  • Facilitating the Spring Outdoors Program in collaboration with Nillumbik and Banyule Councils. The program offers over 50 resident programs including webinars on local frogs and bird species as well as a 10-week Sustainable Gardening webinar series by Sustainable Gardening Australia during lockdown
  • Supporting the Doncaster Hill Community Food Garden where local volunteers grow fresh produce most of which is donated to local charities and community food banks. The garden is open to residents with a passion for growing food, meeting neighbours and lending a hand to plant, water and tend the garden.
  • Introducing residents to our local biodiversity and ways to protect our native species and natural environment in an engaging wildlife and environment video series — Manningham’s Backyard Biodiversity — produced in collaboration with Wild Action Zoo.
  • Fostering community partnerships and supporting biodiversity and environment protection work of Landcare, local environment and friends groups
  • Offering Manningham Schools Environmental Education Program and the Doncaster Hill Community Garden School Holiday Program with education focussed activities dedicated to learning about our natural environment and the importance of protecting biodiversity.
  • Hosting the Lead to Sustain Conference, offering young people in our community the opportunity to learn how to become more sustainable in their choices and to lead by adopting more sustainable actions for the future benefit of our local community. The conference includes activities dedicated to supporting biodiversity and ecology, saving water, reducing waste, recycling and reducing energy consumption.
  • Providing residents guided walking tours so that they may connect with and learn about the natural environment and biodiversity in their local area.
  • Offering a Resource Smart Schools Program assisting schools to embed sustainability into everything they do including ways to promote biodiversity, minimise waste, save energy and water, and take action on climate change to benefit their school and the community.
  • Providing the Smarter Living Program a webinar series in collaboration with Whitehorse Council - dedicated to managing household waste and living more sustainably.
  • Facilitating the Manningham’s Citizen Science program — providing residents the opportunity to participate in collecting and cataloguing biodiversity data in the Aussie Backyard Bird CountFrog Census, NatureSpot and Platyspot even during lockdown walks.
  • Offering the Equiculture Horse Management Course focusing on horse management with an emphasis on sustainable property management and responsible horse ownership.
  • Providing a range of learning programs and events such as the annual Learning for Sustainability Conference — in collaboration with 5 member councils across the Eastern region — Eastern Alliance for Sustainable Learning (EASL).