CERES Community Environment Park
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2006)|
The CERES Community Environment Park, or Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is an award-winning 10-acre (40,000 m2) urban environmental centre located in urban Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia. CERES is pronounced series, and the name may be partially derived from Ceres the goddess of agriculture in Roman mythology.
CERES' purpose is to "initiate and support environmental sustainability and social equity with an emphasis on cultural richness and community participation."
The 4 hectare park, adjacent to picturesque Merri Creek, includes:
- An animal farm.
- Community gardens.
- A café open 7 days a week.
- Organic foods and recycled/handmade crafts market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings
- A training kitchen.
- Educational walking trails.
- Origin Energy Energy Park.
- Multicultural exhibits.
- Facilities for hire.
- The East Brunswick Bicycle Users' Group - a group of volunteers who recycle and repair bicycles for the community.
- The Urban Water Conservation, Demonstration and Research Facility - sustainable water projects.
- A nursery specialising in permaculture, natives and bush foods.
- The EcoHouse, showing sustainable living retrofit options.
Many events are held at CERES including weekend guided tours and private functions. There are three regular festivals each year - Harvest, in March, Beautiful Darkness, at the winter solstice, and the Return of the Sacred Kingfisher festival in November. The latter celebrates the first time a Sacred Kingfisher was seen on the site after revegetation and the transformation from rubbish tip.
CERES is a popular site for school excursions and research students with around 80,000 students visiting each year.
The property is readily accessible from the Merri Creek Trail. Entry is free.
CERES also manages the Harding St Market Garden, a heritage market garden located on the Merri Creek, two kilometres north of the main site.
In 1981, a group of like-minded people dedicated to social awareness, community involvement and environmental issues secured a lease for a 4 hectare plot of neglected land in Brunswick East. Landscaping of the site began and the park was opened in 1982. Since then it has hosted many research projects, exhibitions and events, and seen hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The first tree was officially planted on the site by Dr Barbe Baker—founder of the men of the trees—on 16 September 1981.
CERES is partially funded through its own programmes, café and events as well as project grants from a variety of Government and private sponsors. While the park is open to the public freely, donations and memberships are appreciated. A popular volunteer program is also available.
- CERES official website
- CERES Sustainability Centre (new development)
- CERES Sustainability Hub
- Mathews, Freya 2000 'CERES: Singing Up the City', in PAN (Philosophy Activism Nature) no 1, 2000, pp 5-15.
- 'CERES Environment Park Celebrates 20th Birthday', Earthbeat transcript, broadcast Australian Broadcasting Corporation 20 April 2002
- Mushin, Stephen 2007 'The CERES Aquaponics demonstration facility'
- CERES Community Environment Park, Greenlivingpedia
- Article about entertainment at Ceres on the blog New Glimpse of Australia