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Mapping Resources & Networks – an Environmental Map of Melbourne

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on June 8th, 2007

As moderator of Sustainable Melbourne, I recently had some promotional postcards designed to spread the word about Sustainable Melbourne to increase people’s involvement in this project. This weekend I plan to distribute these postcards to a few environmental hotspots around inner-city Melbourne and thought this could launch an interesting project for Melburnians to map their local environmental resources and networks….

Starting from the Rucker’s Hill hilltop – one of the best sites for a Melbourne sunrise, sunset or New Year’s firework display – my first stop is The Environment Shop, Northcote.

The Environment Shop, 221 High Street, Northcote, open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, supplies members of the community with the tools to live and work in a more environmentally sustainable way. All products supplied by the Environment Shop are either:
* items produced in an environmentally friendly way;
* items that help people to live their lives in an environmentally friendly way;
* items that educate about good environmental practices;
* items that are produced by environmental organisations and directly fund their activities; or,
* items that educate people about the environment.

Since this is a Saturday morning, I plan to jump aboard the bike lane beside Merri Creek to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and nearby Abbotsford Convent. Collingwood Children’s Farm, located at the end of St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, is open every day of the year from 9am to 5pm, $16 Family, $8 Adult, $4 Child. The Farm was established in 1979 as a not-for-profit community resource providing country experiences for city people. In addition to a relaxing wander around the community gardens, animals and glimpsing of river life, the Farm also hosts the Melbourne Community Farmer’s Markets once a month – $2 entry on Market days. Click here for more information.

Up the hill, is the recently refurbished Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford. This beautiful historic site to a range of restaurants (including “Lentil as Anything”), venues and spaces and events and workshops. It’s also home to a community of arts and sustainable lifestyle related organisations and practitioners, with artist’s studios, craftspeople, writers, healers and health practitioners in addition to a community radio station and glass-blowing studio.

Moving on from Abbotsford, my next stop is Friends of the Earth Melbourne (FoEM), 312 Smith Street Collingwood, open 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 4pm Saturday. FoEM is a social and environmental justice organisation with its Smith Street location serving as a base for multiple environmental and social campaigns (see the post on Sustainable Melbourne), in addition to a working Food Coop (providing affordable, low packaged (bulk) food, fruit and vegetables, health and eco-cleaning products) and a Bookshop (providing a diverse range of information on environmental and social justice issues). Feel free to sit down and have a coffee, pick up something to read, check out there notice board, and catch-up with environmentally/ socially minded friends!

Just next door at 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, is Kindness House, home to a range of not-for-profit environmental and social justice organisations such as The Wilderness Society, the Sea Shepard Society, Vegetarian Network Victoria, Yarra Climate Action Now!, Eco-Shout and many more….

I have to say that although I’m topped up with good news about all the creative and inspiring environmental and social justice initiatives located within such a small precinct of Melbourne, I’m beginning to get a little tired now! Next week I plan to check out the environmental hotspots of Melbourne city and perhaps Brunswick – another favourite of mine….

If you have some favourite environmental hotspots you’d like to map and post to this site, please email me at fedwards @unimelb.edu.au. Or if you’d like some Sustainable Melbourne postcards to distribute (and save me the ride!), feel free to call me at (03) 8344 3004.