Featured Projects

Veggie Swap Market

As the Market supports sustainable living by providing a venue for the exchange of locally-grown excess food and home produce, it helps towards reducing food miles and food waste. It also encourages organically-grown produce (ie, without the use of synthetic pesticides). As a result, we are helping to protect the natural environment.
In essence, the market is about:
 Fresh food
 Locally grown
 Social connection
 Sustainable living.
The market is continuing now with members holding the monthly session on the first Sunday of each month from 10.00 to 12.00 at their various residences, showcasing and showing what they do. Please contact us on info@scecentre.com.au for information on where the next will be held.

Hooded Plovers

Hooded Plovers (Thinornis rubricollis) are small­ to medium­sized coastal shorebirds with a
distinctive black hood and throat. Listed as vulnerable nationally, there are less than 50 birds on the whole of the Fleurieu Peninsula, where they use southern ocean surf beaches to nest and raise their young. They build small scrapes in the sand where we like to walk, and they will lay three eggs during the breeding season months from August to March each year, the busiest time of year on the beaches. This makes them particularly vulnerable, especially when the chicks hatch and until they fledge and are able to fly away from danger at around 35 days old.

Coastal development and human activity are the major threats to Hooded Plovers. Nesting at the base of the sand dunes during spring and summer on Adelaide’s beaches, they will abandon eggs and chicks if persistently disturbed by dogs and humans, and they also have nest failures or chick deaths due to high tides, natural predatorssuch as gulls, ravens and kestrels and feral animals such as foxes and cats. South Coast Environment Centre has joined inhelping the Hooded Plover Project, part of the local beach­nesting bird project through Birdlife Australia and Adelaide & Mount Lofty Natural Resources Management Board. We support and run *Dogs Breakfasts* to connect with local dog walkers to help them learn more about the Hooded Plovers and how they can help.

Nangawooka Flora Reserve

Nangawooka is a 5 acre reserve planted up with an amazing range of Australian plants. Originally a cow paddock with some large very old River Red gums spaced through it, the reserve was first planted about 33 years ago to celebrate
the Year of the Tree. The reserve is laid out with SA plants at the front entrance, gradually merging into Eastern State plantings then culminating in a large WA area at the northern end. With such a variety of plants, flowering occurs through most of the year, which of course brings in a great array of native bird. A bird hide has been established to take advantage of this bird-watchers’ hot spot.

Nangawooka depends on volunteer labour so volunteers are welcome to help out in this delightful native garden. Working bees are weekly on a Tuesday morning with general maintenance of weeding, pruning and raking paths, and there are 2 planting days a year. Working Bees start at 9.00 am with time for a cuppa and a chat afterwards.

South Coast Environment Centre regularly hosts guided tours through the reserve and bird ID walk and talks.

Bandicoot Recovery Action Group: Fleurieu (BRAG)

Earlier this year NRM staff, interested volunteers and Environment Centre coordinators from South Coast and Normanville got together with a plan to form a volunteer group to support the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot in the Fleurieu Region. They are medium-sized ground-dwelling native marsupials, who have a long pointed snout, small round ears, a large rump and short, thick tail. These animals are ecosystem engineers who contribute to improvements in soil quality but need dense or thick shrubby understorey plantings to provide shelter.
The group has set their initial project in Deep Creek Conservation Park, where the Department of Environment and Water’s Fire Management team are keen to improve their understanding of the distribution of bandicoots in parks where prescribed burns are planned. Improving knowledge about where bandicoots occur helps ensure only a small proportion of bandicoot habitat are burnt at any one time.
It isn’t known currently how widespread Southern Brown Bandicoots are in Deep Creek, so this project will help provide critical information. The group will assist by setting up cameras which will record mammal activity, then go through the photos to ID and manage the data that is retrieved.
Want to help? We are looking for volunteers to join this group and become active in helping with setting out cameras, collecting and collating data, and eventually look at moving the focus to other areas of the Fleurieu to collect further much needed information.
Contact us at South Coast Environment for more information and to record your interest and learn about training sessions planned.

Valley View Scrub Savers

South Coast Environment Centre has partnered with Toc H South Australia to establish a ‘Friends of…. ‘ group to help protect and maintain a 1.5 hectare patch of scrub on their Victor Harbor campsite, now known as Openlight Camp. This is the largest contiguous bushland block of intact native vegetation within the Victor Harbor region with a very high diversity of native plant, bird and reptile species. It includes nationally listed vulnerable and near threatened species such as the Butterfly spyridium (Spyridium coactilifolium) and Fringed pseudanthus (Pseudanthus micranthus). A number of invasive weed species including Bridal veil, boneseed and bluebell creeper exist. An on-site nursery can be used for propagating native seeds, some of which will be collected from the site.

This group, known as ‘Valley View Scrub Savers’ has now been formed and has established a work plan to address some of the actions required to protect this area. A newly renovated onsite volunteer hub with kitchen, bathroom and meeting space is available for use by volunteers. Other plans include putting up nest boxes and cameras to identify what native animals are using the site, setting up a comprehensive photographic record of plant species as well as weeding, mulching.

Facilitated entirely by volunteers, and funded by donations from generous supporters, Openlight (formerly known asToc H) has run camps for youth in need at the Victor Harbor campsite for over 80 years. The program is designed to help young people from a wide range of situations develop self-regulation skills, form positive relationships with their peers, make healthy choices, build self-esteem, and develop positive community attitudes. Many of the campers have experienced trauma or hardship as a result of their family circumstances. These hardships have social, emotional, behavioural, and financial impacts on the people involved, and Openlight’s Camping Program aims to provide a respite opportunity to both the children and their families. The camp is also used extensively by schools, universities and other community groups throughout the year.

Openlight’s focus is building communities through service – a perfect match for us working together.

Further information is available if anyone is keen to help with this exciting new initiative.

Click here for Facebook Page

** TocH023.pdf          ** TOCH_Report_AUG2010.pdf


South Coast Environment Centre has partnered with Openlight (formerly Toc H) and the Inman River Landcare Catchment Group to help establish a community garden for all residents of Victor Harbor.

Set on the edge of the Openlight Camp at 64 Waggon Road, Victor Harbor, the garden is being created in the back yard of a house which was previously used by the camp manager and has now been renovated to include a community hub, with kitchen, bathroom and meeting area facilities for use by volunteer groups such as community garden members and Scrub Savers.

Still a work in progress, the garden will house a number of raised water-saving wicking beds, has espaliered and free standing fruit trees recently planted and a new base, water tank and compost and worm farm facilities.

Our Vision:
People working together to create and sustain healthy communities by growing vegetables, fruits and herbs and caring for nature within their urban environments.

Our Mission:
• Provide a community garden space available to South Coast residents
• Build a sense of community
• Promote sustainable gardening practices such as
organic gardening and onsite composting
• Share produce with community organisations
• Provide a place of beauty and serenity for others to enjoy
• Provide environmental education and outreach
To grow food, foster good health, support lifelong learning, and cultivate vibrant communities.
Community gardens provide opportunities for recreation and exercise, and bring environmental and cultural benefits to community members.
Community food growing is about the joy.

Currently the garden is holding a working bee every Tuesday morning from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm; all are welcome to come along and find out more how you can join. Membership will be $30 per annum to help with costs.

Please contact the Openlight Community Garden on 0475 564 260, email vhcomgarden@openlight.org.au or via post PO Box 267, Victor Harbor SA 5211.

We also have a Facebook page you can follow our progress Click Here


South Coast Environment Centre is committed to promoting sustainable actions to reduce our use of plastics and other disposable items.

Reduce Reuse Recycle Repurpose

We have arranged for Victor Harbor Council to take our recycling bins, so mobile phones, batteries, tooth care products and L’Or and Moccona aluminium coffee pods can be recycled at the Council/Library offices.
Nespresso pods can be recycled at Morgan Park Nursery and the local post offices will recycle printer cartridges.

A comprehensive document has been produced by one of the Centre’s dedicated volunteers, Fiona - an A - Z of recycling; all you ever want to know about what goes where. Click the link to see this

Also a link for the Redcycle do’s and don’ts – Redcycle collect soft plastics in large bins outside the big supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths.