LandcareACT, a new independent “peak” body for community landcare in the ACT, was launched on Saturday 13th June, at a community information and planting day. The launch will mark the beginning of this hardworking volunteer community seeking to promote and sustain its landcare activities by working together.
LandcareACT will represent the wide diversity of community landcarers in the ACT region. There are over 60 Landcare groups in the ACT region including urban Landcare, Parkcare Groups, rural, junior and Aboriginal Landcare groups, Waterwatch and Frogwatch volunteers, rural landholders and Aboriginal traditional custodians.
LandcareACT was initiated by the ACT’s three catchment groups (Ginninderra, Molonglo andSouthern ACT), who provide support for many landcare groups across the ACT and in surrounding NSW. Its development is being funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Community landcare is a grassroots movement and one of the things that LandcareACT is keen to try and do is to build on government funding -‐ to increase available resources by promoting landcare to the wider community and seeking new partners and funding.” said Glenys Patulny, Chair of the interim Steering Committee for LandcareACT and Chair of the Southern ACT Catchment Group.
“Landcarers are very passionate about what they do and dedicate huge numbers of volunteer hours to look after our environment!” says Ginninderra Catchment Coordinator Karissa Preuss, who provides support to 14 of ACT’s local groups in the northern part of the ACT. “The benefits of landcare go well beyond improvements in biodiversity. For many volunteers landcare also offers a way to get to know other local residents and develop a sense of community and belonging in the place where they live.”
Bernie Bugden, Molonglo Catchment Coordinator says “many of our volunteers are not getting any younger, so there is a need to encourage more and younger people to get involved”. “This is where LandcareACT hopes to assist to build the capacity of our existing groups.”
“LandcareACT will also benefit local landcarers and their government partners by providing a forum for identifying and discussing issues important to community landcarers in the context of government policy and programs.” says Karen Williams, Chair of Molonglo Catchment Group.
“It will also be able to provide a “think tank” for regional innovation and collaboration as well as opportunities for landcarers to share knowledge and experience.”
“LandcareNSW, the peak organization in NSW, has been able to attract significant additional resources to “sustain landcare” groups, and we hope to mirror that success in ACT,” said Dr Williams.