CERES Community Environment Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The CERES Community Environment Park, or Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) urban environmental centre located in urban Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia. CERES is pronounced series, and the name is partially derived from Ceres the goddess of agriculture in Roman mythology.

Prior to CERES managing the land, it was a bluestone quarry and then a municipal tip.

CERES is a charity with the principal purpose of "protecting and enhancing the natural environment, including by providing information and education to increase understanding of human impacts on the natural environment". [1]

It aims to pursue this purpose by being a "place for community-based learning and action" to create the following ways of living together:

  • environmentally beneficial
  • socially just
  • economically satisfying
  • culturally enriching
  • spiritually nurturing[2]

CERES received the 1996 Banksia Environmental Award for Education and Training, and has also received many other awards.[3]


The 4-hectare park, adjacent to picturesque Merri Creek, includes:

  • A nursery specialising in permaculture, natives and bush foods[4]
  • Organic Grocery[5]
  • Community gardens.
  • A café open 7 days a week.[6]
  • A community kitchen.[7]
  • Educational walking trails.
  • Energy Park.
  • Chook Group.[8]
  • Multicultural exhibits.
  • Facilities for hire.[9]
  • The Bike Shed - a group of volunteers who recycle and repair bicycles for the community.[10]
  • The Urban Water Conservation, Demonstration and Research Facility - sustainable water projects.
  • The EcoHouse, showing sustainable living retrofit options.[11]

Many events are held at CERES including weekend guided tours and private functions. There are three regular festivals each year - Harvest,[12] 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 60,000 students visiting each year.

The property is readily accessible from the Merri Creek Trail. Entry is free.

CERES also manages the Joe's Garden (formerly known as Harding Street Market Garden or Merri Creek 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.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°45′58″S 144°58′59″E / 37.7660°S 144.9831°E / -37.7660; 144.9831