Last weekend I enjoyed a visit to the beautiful and historic seaside city of Warrnambool.  I was invited down by the W. City Council to encourage interest in raingardens, as these have a vital role to play in urban storm-water management, especially so for towns closely linked to the ocean.  Raingardens slow down the flow of storm water to reduce erosion of our waterways as well as cleaning and filtering out contaminants.  Warrnambool Council has pledged to become the most sustainable regional city in Australia by 2040, and my morning Raingarden presentation and then an afternoon of Encouraging Bees & Beneficial Insects talk were contributions to this plan.

The Raingarden talk explained why we need Raingardens; various types and how to design and build them for different situations as well as showing many examples.   

My Sunday reading was an article in the Australian called “China’s clearwater revival” featuring Ana Deletic, the scientist who led the team that developed the Raingarden specifications for Melbourne Water, which I taught from on the day before. The article outlined China’s commitment since 2015 to  ‘sponge cities’ which aim to capture, absorb and reuse 70% of their rain water. This is using the concept of raingardens as a total solution!  I had the pleasure of meeting her during the William Angliss Raingarden Project.

Here is Jacqui Balazs, the Natural Environment Officer from Warrnambool City Council introducing my Bees & Beneficial Insects in the Garden talk, at the Pavilion Cafe.

The contemporary outlook from the function room of the Pavilion Cafe.  

In the background you can see the breakwater, and a small harbor where people fish for whiting and flathead. 

Upstairs is the very popular cafe (GF salt & pepper calamari as well as vegan offerings and fresh juices) and this is a beautiful spot to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of Warrnambool.


Green Warrnambool reflects the community’s aspirations as set out in the Warrnambool 2040 Community Plan.

 Warrnambool has just been awarded the most livable city and region in Australia by IPSOS 

Many of Warrnambool’s streets are lined with  mature Norfolk Island pine trees, which really give a distinctive feel to this city as well as providing valuable shade in summer.

As part of my visit I scouted a potential raingarden location at the Archie Graham Community Centre in Warrnambool, and noticed these delightful illustrations by a local artist.

This middle picture is Middle Island where the famous Maremma dogs protect the Little Penguins, as seen in the movie Oddball.

On the long drive home I pulled over to watch an eagle searching the canola for dinner, but my picture is missing the eagle!