Thursday, 21 June 2018

Edition 31 – August September October


Knox Environmental Society

By Zoe Peltekis

What does “Knox Environmental Society” do?

There are so many diverse volunteering roles at Knox Environmental Society, with the central objectives being to meet and exchange ideas concerning the environment whilst providing and involving the local community in activities of conservation and natural history.

You can get down to ‘grass roots’, planting and caring for the survival of rare native indigenous plants. Be in touch with the soil, or join the K.E.S. seed collecting or sorting teams, to support the revegetation of indigenous depleted areas…of environmental significance! All under the supervision of knowledgeable, long term dedicated volunteers and a committed professional horticulturalist.

Volunteering with K.E.S. is your opportunity to unite with your community concerned about the environment you and i live, breathe and work in. You get to connect with the soil, the plants and your neighbour, with the primary focus being the environment.

“Something within us loves the land. Such practices are essential for our sanity, to tap us into wild currents of energy without which we would wither”. (Chris Dodge, Reconnecting with Mother Earth May – June 2008). Our Market driven economy is out of touch, disconnected with environmental priorities but excel in paving, damming, digging and cutting down, everything in sight, and then learning too late, if at all, of the consequences.

Rivers run dry, forests are felled, and species die, through human action. K.E.S attempts to counter some of the environmental terrors that face our own environment, the community we live in. David Thoreau's point, in his 1854, book Walden, stated that: “I think, that we never truly know ourselves until we can experience ourselves as "co-inhabitants" in a world.

The more attuned we are to the vital connections that keep our system alive, the less likely we are to make bad decisions about using it. For me as a K.E.S. volunteer, it provides me with the opportunity to disconnect from the day to day work commitments and responsibilities and focus my primal side in connecting to my environment. I know that I am doing something good, something meaningful. That is why I volunteer for K.E.S. I give support to the place I live at, the place I call home.

My own garden has flourished with native indigenous plants from the K.E.S. nursery. Not long ago, whilst sitting on my deck I felt and heard the force of a small and colorful breeze glide across my face. The King Parrots were cutting through our deck again, using it as a flight path to the food source at the bottom of our garden that I only planned 2 years ago!

Walking through the former Boronia Heights SC site is like that, but its uniqueness is that it has significant, undisturbed native habitat. There are birds, animals and endangered native plants on the edge of survival living here. One way of preserving this rare and unique native area is to give it back to the community, preserving it for future generations. “Certain things should not be tampered with”, said Hon Heidi Victoria, member for Bayswater District, speaking at the local community meeting of over 200 concerned citizens on site on the 3rd of June 2017.

The environmental and social uniqueness of this area can not be undermined nor negated by profit margins and balance sheets. A unified political direction needs to act and demonstrate concern by guiding planning towards the preservation of this unique and vulnerable piece of habitat, as we too are ‘co- inhabitants’, connected and sharing the same environment.

More information on K.E.S., the plants available and current projects that you can be part of, is available at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can visit the nursery located in the parkland opposite the Ferntree Gully Library, entry off Burwood Highway, Mel ways reference 74 A5.

The Nursery is open on Thursdays, 10am to 4pm and Saturdays and Sundays 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

About The Foothills

The Foothills magazine is truly appreciated by the local community. It covers business, community and tourisms news, events, local success stories and more. The site features electronic newsletters, feature stories, recipes, photographs and news, all from the Upper Ferntree Gully, Upwey and Tecoma communities.

From the Editor

Welcome to the first of the digital editions of The Foothills community news. Thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers that has put this edition together. Many are long term volunteers who you will have followed over several years and others are new writers inspired by the opportunities of the new digital edition.

We are keen to grow the Foothills with your contributions. If you have a club, a school or an interest that you’d like to tell us about each quarter then please contact me so we can arrange for your own column. We also welcome photos and quick news stories that we can use to update the Foothills between editions. Send those contributions and messages to

Thanks and happy reading.


The Foothills Editor