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Gardens the Focus at ECCO Meeting – October 2011

ECCO’s meeting on October 26th had a major focus on gardens, from two different but complementary perspectives. Assistant Principal at Bowen Public School, Tracey Graves, spoke about her vision for their recently-established cultural garden and the school's experience in getting the project off the ground. ECCO member and local horticulturalist, Rod Holcombe, spoke on the subject of Sustainable Landscape Design in Large Gardens. ECCO extends its thanks to Tracey and Rod for their stimulating presentations.

Presentation on Sustainable Urban Design – September 2011

Following ECCO’s AGM on Wednesday 21st September, ECCO members had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Bathurst-based Tony McBurney of the Integrated Design Group. Tony gave a thought-provoking and inspiring presentation on the issues and challenges of sustainable urban design. He left us with much to think about in terms of how we might influence future urban design in Orange.

Sustainable Homes and Gardens Tour – September 2011

ECCO's 2011 Sustainable Homes and Gardens Tour was held on Sunday September 18th, attracting hundreds of people interested in sustainable design to the eight homes and gardens on display. The Tour was part of Orange Sustainability Week, which ran from September 10th to 18th. The eight properties were located in Molong, Lidster, Borenore, Windera and Orange, and showcased great native gardens, alternative energy use and passive solar design.

National Tree Day in Orange – July 2011

ECCO members were among the 110 people who participated in the community tree planting at Ploughman's Lane Wetlands in Orange on Sunday July 31st as part of National Tree Day. Orangised by Orange City Council, the day was a great success with 1000 trees planted in 2 hours. ECCO congratulates the organising team, including ECCO's Peter West, and all who participated.

Clean Up Day in Glenroi – June 2011

ECCO's Clean Up Day in Glenroi on Sunday June 19th was a great success. 25 people participated including local residents and school students, the 2nd Orange Scouts, ECCO members, Orange MP Andrew Gee, and Orange Councillors Neil Jones and Reg Kidd. The clean up focused on Glenroi Oval and the open spaces adjacent to Glenroi Heights Public School. Two utes were filled to the brim with the rubbish collected and the oval looked great at the end of the two hour session. Focus on Renewable Energy – April 2011 ECCO's public meeting on April 27th focused on renewable energy. Guest speakers were Jonathon Upson, Senior Development Manager at Infigen Energy, and Grant Christopherson, Central West Renewable Energy Coordinator. Partiicpants heard about the current contribution of renewable energy to NSW's energy requirements, and the likely future for renewables with a particular focus on wind energy. It was great to hear from two experts in the field and their presentations generated considerable discussion and questions. The meeting was organised as part of ECCO's community education program.

Earth Hour Celebrated in Orange – March 2011

Earth Hour 2011 was held worldwide on Saturday March 26 and ECCO again hosted an Orange Earth Hour event at Rotary Park on Mount Lindsay. Participants arrived from 7.30pm and brought picnic rugs and dinners. They celebrated the fight against global warming and watched the lights of Orange turn off between 8.30 and 9.30pm. ECCO thanks all Orange residents and businesses who participated in Earth Hour 2011 and supported this year's theme, "It's time to go beyond the hour".

Clean Up Australia Day in Orange – March 2011

ECCO congratulates all participants who cleaned up 40 locations around Orange as part of Clean Up Australia Day 2011 on Sunday March 6. Nearly 330 people helped with this year’s event removing over 20 shopping trolleys, recyclable drink bottles, and more than 10 trailer loads of litter rubbish from parkland and waterways – preventing it from washing into our creeks and stormwater harvesting scheme. ECCO will continue to work with stakeholders to address responsible waste management in Orange. To see the final Clean Up figures across Australia, visit www.cleanup.org.au

Ploughmans Creek Constructed Wetland Meeting – February 2011

In response to the significant public interest in the Ploughmans Creek Stormwater Harvesting Project, ECCO held a Public Meeting on Wednesday 23 February 2011 to explain the key design features with a focus on the constructed wetlands and dams. Guest speaker was Martin Haege, Director and Environmental Engineer with Geolyse, Consultants for the Project. ECCO thanks Mr Haege and all who attended for helping make it a highly successful event.

Public Meeting on Water and Urban Design

ECCO hosted a public meeting on water sensitive urban design on Wednesday October 27 2010. Our guest speaker was Dianne Kureen, the Local Government Project Officer for the Catchment Management Authority. Dianne's presentation, Water and Urban Design, focused on water sensitive design in urban settings, in particular in new developments. The presentation was part of ECCO's community education program on current environmental issues.

Biodiversity Discovery Day 2010

ECCO had a strong presence at the Biodiversity Discovery Day at the Orange Botanic Gardens on Sunday October 17. Organised by the Orange Field Naturalist and Conservation Society, the event had a wonderful program of discovery walks, biodiversity talks and interactive displays. ECCO had a stand with ECCO volunteers present throughout the day, while other ECCO members led walks or gave talks. Congratulations to the Orange Field Naturalists, and in particular principle organiser Dr Cilla Kinross, on a great day!

Sustainable Home and Gardens Open Day 2010

ECCO's Sustainable Homes and Gardens Open Day, organised as part of Rotary's 2010 Orange Sustainable Living Week, was an outstanding success. Held on September 19, the Open Day provided a rare opportunity to visit various homes, gardens and a vineyard cellar door, to see first hand what people in and around Orange are doing to live more sustainably. All 11 venues reported a steady stream of visitors, with one reporting more than 100 attendees, enabling ECCO to reach out with a message of how we can all live more sustainably.

Fundraiser Screening of Food, Inc.

 More than 130 people attended ECCO's special screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary, Food, Inc., on Sunday August 22 2010 at the Odeon 5 Cinemas. The movie has been described as an "inconvenient truth about food", as it exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health and workers' rights. It certainly lived up to its publicity, reinforcing the importance of eating locally-grown produce and knowing as much as possible about where and how our food is produced.

National Tree Day 2010

ECCO members were active participants in this year's National Tree Day event in Orange, held on August 1. Organised by Orange City Council, this year's event was supported by dozens of volunteers, including a number of ECCO members. Volunteers planted out an area around the detention basin off Kearneys Drive, joining it up with an area planted two years ago. Between them, the ECCO team and other volunteers planted hundreds of native trees, making for another successful National Tree Day in Orange.

Earth Hour 2010

ECCO hosted Earth Hour 2010 activities in Orange at Rotary Park on Mount Lindsay (off Dalton St) on Saturday March 27. Participants brought picnic rugs and dinners, and enjoyed live entertainment while celebrating the fight against global warming. Mt Lindsay was a prime location to watch the lights of Orange turn off between 8.30 and 9.30pm, as a symbol of the city's commitment to the 2010 theme, "Earth Hour Every Hour".

General Meeting on Local Environment Plan (LEP)

ECCO’s General Meeting on Wednesday March 24 2010 provided a forum for discussion of issues associated with the preparation of the Draft Orange Local Environment Plan (LEP 2010). The meeting’s theme, “Shaping Orange’s Future”, emphasised the role of the LEP in shaping sustainable growth and development in Orange for the next decade and beyond.

ECCO is well aware of community concerns about the growth of Orange and its impact on resources such as land and water, and other essential infrastructure. The meeting was an excellent opportunity for members of the community to understand the new LEP zonings and their implications for future residential, commercial and industrial development in Orange. The meeting also addressed issues that are important in framing the Development Control Plan, which is an integral part of the new LEP.

ECCO was fortunate to have Orange City Council’s Director of Development Services, David Wadell, and other Council Planning Staff as guest speakers for the meeting. The meeting provided the community with information that will enable them to make informed submissions when the Draft LEP is released for public comment.

Clean Up Australia Day 2010

ECCO and Orange City Council's Tidy Towns Committee joined forces to host Clean Up Australia Day activities at 4 sites in Orange on Sunday March 7. The event was a great success despite being dampened by the beautiful rain that fell through the morning. More than 35 volunteers removed 30 bags of rubbish and recycled items, 2 couches, several car tyres, multiple boxes, a bike wheel, buckets, drums, 8 shopping trolleys and a soggy nappy with flowers on it.

Unfortunately, it seems that Orange’s creeks, parks and waterways are still viewed as a suitable site for waste disposal by many in our community. While it initially appeared that there was less litter waste in our parks this year, the overall tally suggests otherwise. Also of concern was the apparent failure of the Gross Pollutant Trap on Dalton Street to trap floating litter waste after the heavy rainfall. A significant amount of litter was observed by-passing the Trap as it overflowed, spilling plastic bottles and floating debris into the creek.

ECCO will continue to lobby for waste minimisation and litter prevention practices to address these concerns. However, in the meantime, ECCO would like to thank all those who helped make Clean Up Australia Day the success it was – including all those who helped with preparations for the day, those who assisted with media and promotion of the event, site coordinators, volunteers, and the much-appreciated individuals who provided the BBQ, apples and other refreshments at Elephant Park.

Walk Against Warming 2009

ECCO's Walk Against Warming in Orange on December 12 saw more than 100 people take to the streets, demonstrating their concern about climate change. The rally in Robertson Park following the walk, heard impassioned pleas from a number of speakers, including Councillors, children and scientists, for real action on climate change from the Australian Government and the countries of the world.


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