The Peninsula Environment Group (PEG) is a voluntary group promoting and supporting sustainable living in the Woy Woy area. Since the group was set up in 2008 we have organised talks, films, picnics, festivals, a solar panel bulk-buying schemes and local recycling guides. Our current main activities are:
1. a food-buying cooperative buying local wholesale organic food
2. the biennial Woytopia Festival
3. Woy Woy Peninsula Community Garden in Moana St, Woy Woy
4. PEG Nature Play Group for Under-5s (and their parents)
5. GUST (Grow Urban Shade Trees) planting street shade trees
6. occasional bushwalks and one-off events – will be advertised on our Facebook page
Enquiries: Grant Focas (PEG President).
We welcome new members and ideas for new activities and projects. If you want to get involved in PEG, use the contacts for our various projects on this website, follow us on Facebook to be notified of upcoming PEG activities, or come to one of our meetings.
(Please talk to us or attend a PEG meeting or activity before joining.)
Click here for the PEG Membership Form
A brief history of PEG
PEG’s story began in 1988 when a Bicentennial project restored the old St Luke’s church, the oldest building on the Peninsula, as the Woy Woy Environment Centre. The work was partly funded by Spike Milligan. The building was moved from its original location in Orange Grove to its current location on the corner of Blackwall Rd and Billabong St.
A group, the Friends of Woy Woy Environment Centre, was set up to manage the centre. This group was a type of Gosford Council committee, called a 355 committee, made up of volunteer community members but still a part of Council. The key figures at that time were Allen and Beryl Strom (pictured above), also prominent in the wider NSW environment movement.
The hall functioned as a drop-in centre, open most days. In those days, before the internet, it was often hard to find environmental information, and volunteers at the centre provided information and kept press cuttings on environmental issues, as well as holding meetings and talks. A Gosford Council environmental officer also worked out of the centre two days a week, providing environmental planning information.
Following the deaths of Allen Strom in 1997 and Beryl in 2003, the centre gradually became less active. At the same time, the development of the internet meant environmental information became more readily available and there was less need for a drop-in information centre.
Around 2006-07 a “new generation” (including Mark Mann, Zainem Ibrahim and Mark Snell) joined the Friends of Woy Woy Environment Centre and revived the group. To have some independence from Gosford Council, in 2008 we then set up the Peninsula Environment Group (PEG) as an incorporated non-profit association to run activities, while concurrently maintaining the Friends of Woy Woy Environment Centre committee to manage the centre. With the aid of a Gosford Council grant, PEG refurbished the hall and landscaped the centre’s grounds with endemic local plants.
PEG began by holding monthly meetings with talks and films screenings. After a while, however, we felt we were “preaching to the converted” and instead looked to run projects aimed to encourage and facilitate the growth of sustainable living on the Woy Woy Peninsula.
The first such project was the PEG Food Network. This has now grown to be the largest single component of PEG, with around 50 members ordering organic/chemical-free produce plus dried foods and other eco-friendly products.
In 2008 and 2009, PEG held annual Sustainable Living Days at the centre, with food, music and talks. This led to a bigger event, the Woytopia sustainable living festival, held at Woy Woy South Public School. Woytopia festivals so far were held in 2010, 2011, 2012 then biannually in 2014, 2016. The 2018 festival was cancelled due to flooding but later ran as a modified event in conjunction with Umina Beach Markets.
In 2011 PEG established a third project, the Woy Woy Peninsula Community Garden in Moana Street, a project initiated by Jill Meredith.
PEG has also run one-off projects. These have included a discounted bulk purchase of solar panels for 60 households in 2011, and Rolling, a project to encourage cycling on the Peninsula, in 2014 and 2015.
In 2016, PEG set up the PEG Nature Play Group. This is a Facebook group through which parents of pre-school children can organise informal picnics, bushwalks, beach visits and other nature-based get-togethers.
In 2021, GUST (Grow Urban Shade Trees) joined PEG.
Each project runs under the umbrella of PEG, with PEG providing oversight, insurance, and a legal entity for banking, making grant applications and other administrative functions. We are always interested in new projects: if you have an idea for a project that promotes sustainability on the Woy Woy Peninsula, please get in touch.
In 2018 Central Coast Council took back management of the Woy Woy Environment Centre.
PEG would like to thank our accountants HC Partners for their support.