Critical habitat in New South Wales’ mid-west is on the road to recovery thanks to the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program.
Launched by Watershed Landcare to address large scale fire damage resulting in habitat loss, species decline and erosion, the Growing Recovery in the Mid-Western Region project has seen 10,000 seeds for native trees, shrubs and groundcovers collected, propagated and planted by nearly 100 local volunteers.
“Due to seasonal conditions following the fires our community nursery received a massive increase in requests for local plants, but we were struggling with a reduction in our seed stores because of the ongoing drought,” said Watershed Landcare Local Landcare Coordinator Claudia Wythes.
“Thanks to the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants funding we were quickly able to get to work collecting local providence seed and propagating tubestock to ensure we could meet the needs of fire affected landholders and provide them with species diversity at all levels of vegetation.”
“The range of local plants available was incredibly important because we wanted to both help revegetate biologically diverse habitats and to ensure stronger, more sustainable regeneration to help build ongoing resilience in the face of future disaster events.”
The project was a roaring success with plants distributed across 70 sites- but for Watershed Landcare and their partners it was important that the project’s focus extended beyond improving environmental outcomes to ensuring they were reinvesting in their community. As part of the project, they held three workshops and ten working bees to build local capacity for the high number of revegetation projects in their region.
“We were blown away by how eager the community was to come together to restore and rehabilitate local environments. Everyone was eager share and learn new skills during the farm and hands on experience in seed collection and plant propagation too.”
“We’ve also been able to expand our impact by hosting a visit to Merriwa Landcare to share knowledge gained from the project and support local communities to take action on their patch,” said Ms Wythes.
With Merriwa Landcare now keen to start their own project and with plans in place to reconnect with Watershed Landcare in 2023, Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin saying he couldn’t be more impressed with the results.
“Community involvement in activities such as the Growing Recovery in the Mid Western Region project are crucial in ensuring that the projects Landcare delivers have long lasting impact. The trees they grow today will be the species that will weather the next event,” said Mr Guerin.
“Projects such as this also ensure that community members are supported and empowered to have the resources they need to move forward together.”
“The fantastic accomplishments of this project and the wider Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program have highlighted the value of local environmental protection projects in supporting the recovery of bushfire-affected communities and environments. The success of this landcare-led model shows our movement is well placed to be on the front lines when tackling future natural disasters,” said Mr Guerin.
About the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program
The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program is a $14 million program funding community-driven projects across bushfire affected areas of Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. Together the 111 projects funded by the Program benefitted over 100 federal and state listed threatened species and ecological communities, including 16 mammal species, 16 bird species, 9 frog species, 34 plant species and 16 threatened vegetation communities.
Supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat, the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program is managed by a partnership between the National Landcare Network, Landcare Australia and the Peak Landcare State and Territory Landcare organisations.
For further information, visit the Program Website: https://landcareledbushfiregrants.org.au/
MEDIA CONTACT: Rosie Rayns, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0401 991 792
Further project information:
Watershed Landcare received over $54,500 in funding from the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program to increase community capacity for revegetation projects and support large scale propagation of native plants in the New South Wales mid-west in partnership with Mid Western Regional Council, Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Royston Petrie Seeds and Merriwa Landcare.
The project saw 10,000 trees, shrubs and groundcovers planted over 70 sites, supported 10 working bees and engaged 98 volunteers over 520 volunteer hours.