Whether you have a big backyard or barely a balcony, there are always opportunities to support local wildlife by providing shelter, nesting habitat, food, and water sources. Gardens for Wildlife Greater Dandenong (G4WGD) is a free program run in collaboration with Greater Dandenong Council and volunteer community members, which supports residents to create inviting habitat for local wildlife within their gardens.
The program offers residents a garden visit from two of our trained volunteer Garden Guides, who provide guidance and encouragement on how to attract and support wildlife with native and indigenous plants and wildlife gardening practices.
The program is free and open to private residents, schools, businesses, and community groups.
Why Gardens for Wildlife?
Did you know that privately owned land takes up over 70 per cent of the City of Greater Dandenong?
That means that residential gardens have enormous potential to provide much-needed habitat for wildlife. However, canopy cover in Greater Dandenong has continued to drop in recent years, and as urbanisation continues to increase, wildlife habitat has become severely fragmented, sending many plant and animal populations into decline. By creating wildlife habitat in your own garden, you are helping local threatened and endangered species to move through our neighbourhoods and live safely together with people.
There are also many other benefits to wildlife gardening, such as boosting mental wellbeing, creating beautiful, dynamic spaces, building knowledge, and strengthening one’s connection to nature and place. What’s more, Gardens for Wildlife is an opportunity to foster connection with your local community and become part of a network of passionate wildlife gardeners.
How does Gardens for Wildlife work?
1. Register your interest for a garden visit by filling out the form below.
2. Two trained Garden Guides will visit your garden for one hour at an agreed time to offer suggestions and guidance to increase habitat and food sources for local wildlife.
3. Garden visits are non-judgemental, and help to build knowledge, skills, and confidence in caring for the land.
Participants will receive
- A voucher for 20 indigenous plants from Greenlink Sandbelt Indigenous Nursery.
- A written report with suggestions for your wildlife garden
- An opportunity for a follow up consultation
- Becoming a part of the state-wide Gardens for Wildlife Victoria network
How can you get involved with Gardens with Wildlife
There's many ways to get involved in this program.
Request a Garden visit
Fill out the form below.
Become a Volunteer Garden Guide
Perhaps you're interested in becoming a Garden Guide? Register below to become a Council volunteer and you will receive specialised garden guide training.
Dandenong's local Aboriginal artist Ian Harrison has hand drawn some beautiful colouring-in sheets of animals, reptiles and insects. Download the sheets below and email your colouring sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some colouring-in sheets may be used on our website and Facebook.
The Willie Wagtail weaves a nest of soft grasses and covers it in spider’s web, while the Welcome Swallow builds hers with mud. Perched on a low branch, The Eastern Yellow Robin is watching for insects to munch. Up above, the Musk Lorikeets feed on flowering gums and the big Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo soars over the tallest woodland trees.
The Southern Marbled Gecko is almost impossible to see against the bark of the bull-oak tree. By the creek, the Southern Water Skink searches for tadpoles to eat, but he might have to stay back, because the Eastern Longnecked turtle also enjoys this tasty snack. Nearby, the Lowland Copperhead Snake finds a nice rock to sunbake. Meanwhile, a Blue-Tongue Lizard scurries in the leaf litter - he has found a snail to eat for dinner.
On a warm spring day, you might spy the Common Brown Butterfly feeding on flowers and hear the loud trill of the Greengrocer Cicada at dusk. In the eucalypt forests, the Imperial Jezebel lays her eggs on some mistletoe leaves, while the Green Stag Beetle chooses to lay hers inside a soft rotten log - soon their babies will hatch. Over by the frog pond, the Wandering Ringtail Dragonfly shines beautifully blue on the still water surface.
The Common Froglet finds a garden pond to spend a sunny afternoon while Pobblebonk burrows into the ground and waits for rain. In the billabong, the Striped and Spotted Marsh Frogs lay their eggs on the water surface, and the Southern Brown Tree frog leaps hangs upside down on a branch to catch a tasty fly.
The tiny Microbat sleeps under the rough tree bark while it waits for night to fall. As the sun begins to set, the Grey Headed Flying Fox leaves her home in search of sweet flowers and juicy fruit. She arrives at a eucalypt forest, where a Ringtail Possum is building her nest, and a Brush Tailed Possum is filling up on crunchy leaves. Down below, an Echidna takes a bath in the river, and watches as the Rakali hunts for a delicious fish in the quiet creek.
Tips for creating a wildlife friendly garden
There are many things that you can do to provide habitat for local wildlife, or increase biodiversity in your backyard.
View our range of Biodiversity Resources and get started.
Read fact sheets about how you can make your neighbourhood attract certain animals into our gardens.
To find out about upcoming events in local parks and reserves, visit the Biodiversity page and sign up for our enewsletter.