Gardens for Wildlife

HCC Gardens for Wildlife logo

Gardens for Wildlife (G4W) supports people to create homes for native wildlife in their gardens. There is a simple and easy wildlife-friendly garden recipe for you to follow to provide the food, water and shelter that animals need  

By attracting native butterflies, bees, birds, frogs, and lizards to your garden, it will become even more beautiful, vibrant, and interesting. You are also doing your part to help your local biodiversity. 

Subscribe to Live Green eNews to stay informed about the program. You can also find more things to see and do in the City and register for workshops by visiting Council's events calendar.

About the program

G4W is free to participate and open to all households, schools, and businesses within the Hume City Council municipality. 

Friendly volunteer Garden Guides will visit with you in your garden, chatting for about an hour. They will talk with you about what wildlife you would like to attract and the things you could do in your space. Every patch of wildlife habitat is important whether it’s a few pots, part of a small courtyard, the whole garden, or even your nature-strip.

Several weeks after the garden visit, you will receive a report with information about how you could help native animals and plants. We are confident you will be inspired to create wildlife habitat, but there is no obligation to take any further action. You will receive some small gifts, including hard copies of the Birds of Hume(PDF, 4MB) and Fauna of Hume(PDF, 905KB) field guides. You will be amazed by the nature in your neighbourhood.

Attend webinars, workshops, and events to develop your habitat garden plans and learn more about our native wildlife. People who have a garden visit will become eligible to get some free indigenous seedlings. Join Hume City’s Wildlife iNaturalist project and submit photos of what is living in your neighbourhood.

Hume City Council gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria network and the founding program Knox Gardens for Wildlife.

Organise a garden visit

Applications open 1 March 2024

Organise a garden visit.

Apply here

Residents, businesses, and schools in Hume City can apply to have a free one-hour garden visit, with volunteer Garden Guides to chat about wildlife-friendly gardens. Receive a small gift during the visit and a detailed report is provided several weeks later. Participants also become eligible to get some seedlings at a winter giveaway event.

Garden Guides are community volunteers who are formally screened and trained by Council.

The online SmartyGrants system is used to administer the garden visits. There is a limit on the number of applications that can be received each round. Assistance in applying for a garden visit can be provided if required.

Download a copy of the G4W SmartyGrant Instructions

After you have completed and submitted your application on SmartyGrants, you will be notified by email that Council has received your application.

A Garden Guide contacts the participants to arrange and confirm garden visits. Please be patient as it can take several months to progress through the participant list.  

Garden visits can be scheduled any day of the week, in the morning or afternoon.

To stay informed, sign up to Live Green eNews or submit your contact details using the interactive Organise a Garden Visit brochure. You will be notified when the next round is opening.

Become a volunteer Garden Guide

Are you interested in nature, gardening or helping other people? Are you happy to talk about the birds and bees … and butterflies, frogs, and other critters? If so, then consider becoming a volunteer Garden Guide.

In this volunteer role, you will:

  • Organise garden visits with participants.
  • Do some online research and save some maps to prepare for the visit.
  • Either take the lead and do most of the chatting during the one-hour visit, or help capture the visit by taking notes and photos with the participant’s permission.
  • Help prepare a report for the participant providing the information they need. Use a report template to insert photos, quotes, maps, and relevant factsheets, with some of your recommendations or words of encouragement.
  • Help promote the Gardens for Wildlife program.

You don't need to be an expert on native plants and animals. You will receive training and be provided with resources. There is buddy mentoring system with experienced Garden Guides to show you how it’s done.

Council encourages people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to become Garden Guides so that we can more effectively spread the wildlife gardening message to the culturally diverse communities that add to the City’s rich social character.

Volunteer Garden Guide application, induction, and training occurs throughout the year. To express your interest, contact

Why are gardens for wildlife so important?

Community education is required to create better outcomes for native wildlife on a range of issues. Inclusive messages about the simple actions and solutions to help wildlife are provided.

Community and Friends groups deserve much recognition for their dedication in caring for our open green spaces. Across the landscape, habitat patches and wildlife corridors are needed through people’s gardens and streetscapes linking our parks, nature conservation reserves, and waterways.

Conserving our natural heritage also helps protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage. It shows respect for the First Nations People’s ongoing connection to country. Many wildlife habitat plants are valued by the local tribes that make up the Kulin Nations for the plants’ traditional uses. Planting food, fibre or medicine plants in your garden is a small yet powerful act of reconciliation. It deepens your connection to your place.

If you have questions about the G4W program please contact Council’s Urban Biodiversity Officer, Melissa Doherty via email