Maribyrnong council is asking locals to contribute to its first nature plan, a 10-year plan to help the council protect and enhance habitats and strengthen biodiversity across the municipality.
According to the council, prior to settlement, Maribyrnong was predominantly an open grassland, home to a diversity of vegetation, which created habitat for native wildlife such as the fat-tailed dunnart and were once ecologically rich communities of native orchids, daisies, lilies, peas and grasses.
The council said there is a close link between preserving biodiversity and its goal of reaching zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, given biodiversity loss contributes to and is affected by climate change.
A council spokesperson said currently that much of the natural environment is endangered, including the Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, which once covered much of Victoria but of which there is now less than five per cent left.
“With the Maribyrnong River defining the north-eastern boundary [of the municipality], enjoying biodiversity and protecting our natural environment plays a key role in daily life in the municipality,” they said.
“Approximately 10 per cent of the municipality is open space, including sections located along the Maribyrnong River, which are thought to contain the majority of the municipality’s higher quality publicly accessible biodiversity values.”
Mayor Cuc Lam is encouraging residents to become involved.
“A healthy biodiversity brings multiple benefits including food and shelter, clean air and water, improved mental health, increased recreation options, and safeguarding us against the impact of climate change,” she said.
“If we are to reap those benefits, we need to find ways to better protect and manage our natural habitat.
A community drop in session will be held on December 9, from 9am-1pm at the SloFo WeFo Farmers Market.
Feedback closes December 15.