It’s my first visit to CERES, what should I do?
Welcome! Pop into the Visitor Centre for a map, or take a photo of one of the big maps that are placed at various points around the park. Have a wander through the Nursery, and pick up a native plant. Head down to the Grocery, listen to some local musicians, grab a coffee, have a peek at the chickens, and let the kids have a run around in the sandpit. Take a stroll through the community garden plots and see what our community have been growing. Watch the many enthusiastic volunteers and cyclists tinker in The Bike Shed, and see what kind of bikes they have for sale. Wander down to the Terra Wonder Playspace, and marvel at the giant millipede – scaled up 500 times! Meander down through the trees to the Merri Creek, a wonderful inner-city sanctuary for wildlife (yes there are still platypus living there!). Pop back up past the beehives, the propagation shed, and Honey Lane Market Garden, finishing your day at the Merri Cafe, for a well-earned chai or delicious organic lunch.
Can I bring my dog to CERES?
Yes, pooches are welcome to visit! Dogs must be on lead throughout the park, and are able to visit the Nursery – indoors and outdoors, outdoors at the Merri Cafe, and up to the boundary fence of the Grocery & Bakery. Please be mindful around our chooks, and please pick up your dogs poop and dispose of it in rubbish bins provided.
I’d like to know more, can I take a tour?
Yes, we’d love to show you around. Tours need to be booked in advance, so that one of our team members can be available to answer your questions. We offer a wide range of topics, from sustainable water use, to social enterprise. Please check out our Tours page for more information and to book.
Can I buy a bike at CERES?
The Bike Shed is a community group run by volunteers. From 2021 onwards, due to Covid-19 restrictions, The Bike Shed were no longer able to provide a space for people to gather and repair their bikes, and are now offering bicycle recycling and sales only. The group will still take old bicycles that can be recycled and repaired by volunteers. Find out more here.
Will the produce from Honey Lane Market Garden be in my lunch at the Merri Cafe?
Chef Hemi Rakei Reidy does his very best to use what is being harvested at Honey Lane on the menu in the Merri Cafe. Depending on the season, he crafts delicious meals that use figs, plums, spring onions, kale, carrots, radishes…the list goes on! Produce from Honey Lane Market Garden is also available for purchase at CERES Grocery. Ask our Grocery staff which fruit and veg has travelled the shortest distance.
Can I bring my food waste to compost at CERES?
Unfortunately our compost system is at capacity just dealing with our staff and cafe food scraps, so we are unable to take any more. There are also areas of our park that are strictly certified organic, which means any contaminants from other sources would mean we are no longer certified. There are many different composting schemes available, depending on your locality, and websites such as sharewaste.com allow you to find people in your area that will accept food scraps. Alternatively contact your local council.
Can I take photos around CERES?
You are welcome to take photos of areas of CERES for your personal use, however we ask that you don’t take photos of other people, especially children. We are a popular location for film makers and photographers. To request to use CERES as a location for your shoot, you will need to fill out an online enquiry form available here. We will then contact you to discuss your project and advise availability and pricing.
Do I have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit CERES?
As at July 2022, there are no Victorian Government restrictions on unvaccinated members of the public visiting CERES. All CERES staff and volunteers are required by CERES work health and safety risk controls and safety plans, which outlines at minimum two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.
When was CERES founded?
CERES was founded in 1982 by a local group of community members. They had a vision to turn a wasteland into a beautiful, thriving, lush space for the community.
Who owns CERES?
CERES itself sits on land owned by Moreland City Council, however we operate independently of the council and we are managed by a board elected from our members, and a chairperson. CERES recently transitioned to CERES EARTH Ltd, and is a registered charity with the principal purpose of protecting and enhancing the natural environment. We are a not-for profit organisation, which means all our profits go back into our programs and keeping the site beautiful. We’re also supported by the generosity of our local community. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation you can do so here.
I would like to interview someone from CERES, who should I contact?
Please send your enquiry through to email@example.com, including details of your project or proposal. Due to the number of these requests we receive and our limited staffing capacity, we may not be able to respond to each of these requests.
I’m doing a university assignment and have some questions about CERES, who should I contact?
We would love to help with your assignment, however we have limited capacity to respond to each of these requests. Have you had a look around our website? There is a lot of information, including our annual reports located here, which contain heaps of helpful information about CERES and our goals, achievements and strategies.
How do I set up a centre like CERES?
CERES was created by many hands over many decades. Our unique history, locality, geography and relationships with community have helped make us who we are today! Many people ask us how they can create a similar community, so in 2009, one of CERES elders – Eric Bottomley – assisted in creating a guide to setting up an eco centre. You can find the guide here. We also recommend visiting the Port Philip Eco Centre.
How do I volunteer?
We love our volunteers, so we have a very popular volunteer program for many different areas of the park. Take a look at our Volunteer page for current opportunities and more information. We are unable to offer internships or opportunities outside of these areas due to limited staffing capacity, and we are not able to accept volunteers who are under 18.
How do I donate?
We rely on donations to keep our park open, green, and free for all. We so appreciate the support we receive from our community. You can find out more about the options for donating to the CERES Environment Park fund here.
How do I become a member?
Join CERES and enjoy membership benefits such as discounts at all enterprises within the park, exclusive member events and the opportunity to have your say in CERES’ strategic direction. See membership options here.
I would love to work at CERES, can I join the team?
Can CERES take lost chickens?
Unfortunately CERES cannot take lost chickens. We have a carefully crafted ‘Closed Flock Policy’ (C.F.P.) which means we need to introduce new chickens slowly at the right time. You can try backyardpoultry.com if you have a lost or unwanted chicken. Or Edgars Mission at www.edgarsmission.org.au
How many chickens does CERES have?
We have around 200 chickens that live at the Honey Lane chicken coop. You can find out about our Honey Lane Market Garden where the chickens reside here.
Where can I get information about keeping chickens?
Can I visit the beehives?
There are very productive hives at CERES (our main hive contains around 10,000 bees!), however for safety reasons, there is no public access to the hives. They are run by the Bee Group, a community group that meets at CERES on the third Sunday of the month. If you would like to join, please see this webpage for more information.
Where is the aquaponics system?
CERES no longer has an aquaponics group. The time and expertise involved in maintaining the complex system became problematic for the small group of volunteers, and eventually the system needed to be abandoned. There are a few functioning aquaponics systems around Victoria and groups online that can offer support.
Does CERES rely only on solar power?
CERES doesn’t currently receive enough energy from our solar system to be 100% self-sufficient, as we have so much infrastructure including commercial refrigeration systems and more than 60 computers. However, we are aiming for zero emissions by 2025 and are actively looking for support to install more solar PVs to help us achieve our goal. You can read about our plan to reduce emissions here.
We are working towards becoming less reliant on fossil fuels, and our Zero Emissions EcoHouse is an excellent example of a typical Australian home that has been retro-fitted to implement new technology to utilise renewable energy for its electricity. The EcoHouse is now used as a staff office space.
What other green technology can I see at CERES?
We have an electric vehicle charging station (the very first charging station to be installed in Victoria), a bio-digester, solar cooker, wind turbines and a human-powered classroom.
What’s a human-powered classroom?
With funding received from the Department of Education, our human-powered classroom has been up and running since 2019. It’s a space where kids (and adults too) can learn about how hard it really is to generate enough energy to power even small appliances like kettles and toasters.