The W James Whyte Island Reserve, also known as “The Island”, located approximately 50 kms west of Melbourne near Myrniong (10km west of Bacchus Marsh), was donated to Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) in 2006 by W. James Whyte.
CVA continues to undertake key conservation projects on the property; demonstrating the practical elements of land care in the transition of a highly degraded former agricultural site to a Conservation Reserve. CVA is creating a community asset through opportunities for community engagement, education & recreation.
The Reserve is located adjacent to the Werribee Gorge State Park and embraces sections of the Werribee River and Myrniong Creek, and includes important geomorphological sites and areas of remnant vegetation.
To date steps have been undertaken to reinvigorate the landscape through improved biodiversity and habitat values with over 210,000 seedlings being planted across the site. Other key activities undertaken include vermin and weed control.
In July 2011, the reserve was extended in size, now totaling 234Ha, with the donation of an additional block in Myers Road with additional support from W. James Whyte.
CVA has invested in excess of $1.5m over the past 8 years with the support of various corporate partners, Commonwealth & State Government agencies and other funding programs.
Revegetation and rehabilitation works will continue and include development of recreation tracks and educational wetland.
World Environment Day Tree Planting Challenge
On World Environment Day 2014, the first inaugural Tree Planting Challenge was held at The W James Whyte Island Reserve. 90 volunteers from various partner organisations of CVA including Boral, the Commonwealth Bank, Accenture, Bupa, Origin and Telstra came together to help plant 1,500 seedlings and contribute to priority conservation projects at the site.
Since then, our Tree Planting Challenge has grown to become a national event with more locations, more teams and more impact than ever before! Our last challenge became a tree planting frenzy of 46 teams participating across Australia, with our Melbourne teams planting at the Island.
The competition was fierce, with teams competing to plant the greatest amount of native grasses, shrubs and trees as they could within a two hour period. Our corporate green thumbs planted over 17,000 native plants and contributed to the rejuvenation of key sites in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Mackay, Melbourne (The Island), Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.
“Our corporate teams have helped to achieve real, on-ground outcomes in their local community, complementing the work that Conservation Volunteers undertakes every day. Their participation has also assisted us in raising funds to support this work ongoing. We are very pleased with the environmental outcomes from this year’s event and can’t wait to have everyone back again next year” says Danielle Johnson, Conservation Volunteers National Corporate Relations Partnership Manager.
“(I enjoyed) the feeling of contributing to the habitat and the rivalry between groups.” – Travis, Stockland, Brisbane
“It’s a satisfying experience and it is a give back to the environment.” – Anita, BASF, Melbourne
“I had a wonderful time and would do it again.” – Josef, Optus, Sydney
If you or your team are interested in getting involved in future events at the Island, please email us at [email protected].