Environmental Education grants awarded and project summaries
This program supports projects that develop knowledge, skills and commitment to protecting the environment.
In the 2017 round the Environmental Trust approved 13 grants, totalling $953,373:
- community grants – 5 projects totalling $411,383
- government grants – 8 projects totalling $541,990.
Best practice sustainability education and engagement for NSW – $95,760
This project will increase the capacity of 240 environmental educators through 12 skills development workshops on best practice sustainability education and engagement (SEE). ‘Take Me Outside’ (TMO) initiatives will then provide an action learning platform for educators as they put best practice SEE methods into practice in 200 local projects with schools, preschools, community groups and businesses.
This project will provide the support, tools and resources that NSW educators need to deliver more effective projects and maximise on-ground environmental benefits. TMO projects will provide significant measurable environmental benefits and case studies, while reconnecting adults and children with nature and combating the growing trend towards sedentary lifestyles.
Skilling up the community to reduce fox impacts in southwest Sydney – $88,000
Fox activity is increasing right across the Sydney region. Highly coordinated and innovative control campaigns are required to reduce the impact of foxes on wildlife, livestock and domestic animals in urban and peri-urban environments. This project builds on the success of the Menangle Fox Control Campaign, which has used a landscape-based approach to inform landholders about fox activity and the use of novel fox control methods in southwest Sydney.
Our initiative is to identify ‘cluster’ groups of landholders who are prepared to work with their neighbours to control foxes during Autumn and Spring each year and then engage a contractor to coordinate fox control measures across several clusters.
Educational initiatives such as community workshops and media reports will continue to encourage the community to support these activities and reduce resources available to foxes.
Sounding the chorus for frogs in Corowa’s wetlands – $40,790
The threatened Sloane’s froglet will be used as a flagship species to engage schoolchildren and the broader community in caring for frogs, threatened species, and wetland habitats. We will support primary school teachers by providing locally relevant educational materials and school visits by scientists, and engage school children in hands-on creative activities to develop an understanding of the unique wetland habitats and frogs of the Corowa region.
The Landcare and broader community will be involved in wetland rehabilitation planting days which will protect key habitats as well as developing skills in wetland and threatened species habitat identification and management.
Reveal and restore western Sydney dry rainforest – $86,876
Western Sydney Dry Rainforest (WSDR) is a living fossil, one of the last remaining examples of Sydney’s prehistoric environment. Only 26% of this highly significant ecosystem remains and it is slowly disappearing due to development, weed invasion and current land management practices.
The project will focus on revealing and restoring WSDR on private land. We will target private landholders and encourage alternative farming practices, showcase best practice, and incorporate Landcare ideas into land management to give landholders the knowledge and skills to restore WSDR on their land. These landholders will become WSDR custodians and inspire local community and school students.
The elephant in the woodlands – impact of firewood collection – $99,957
The collection and use of firewood for home heating is a common practice in the Uralla Community. ‘Elephant in the Woodlands’ will raise awareness and encourage sustainable practices amongst resource managers, firewood collectors and firewood users.
The project will establish a recognised sustainable supply of firewood through ecological assessments and training programs provided to landholders and firewood collectors. The project will also support and extend existing community-based programs for improving home thermal efficiency, reducing energy for demand for heating and effective firewood storage.
These objectives will be supported by an ongoing education campaign through media, at community events and in schools to raise awareness of the value and importance of standing and fallen timber (coarse woody debris: CWD) on public reserves and roadsides and promote the use of sustainable firewood.
Brisbane water estuary education project – $100,000
The Brisbane Water Estuary Education Project is a general awareness raising and capacity building project that will involve the development of an engagement program for the Brisbane Water Catchment on the NSW Central Coast, working with industry and small local neighbourhood pockets directly adjacent to the estuary, to increase the communities understanding of the importance of estuaries, wetlands, the catchment and our impact on the local environment.
The project will enhance the communities understanding of past connections and uses for the system, the value of these ecosystems and build best practice and positive behaviour change to move towards the longer-term outcomes of the Brisbane Water Estuary Management Plan of improving local biodiversity and water quality.
Citizens, science and woodland birds of Cessnock – $92,014
The project aims to build awareness of Cessnock’s significance for biodiversity – it is the biodiversity hotspot of the Lower Hunter. We will use Regent Honeyeater as our ‘flagship’ species, essentially on the brink of extinction. The area is of vital importance to this bird. The region holds the most important coastal forests in New South Wales for declining woodland birds; this and the value of protecting biodiversity for the benefit of these bird species, other plants and animals, eco-tourism, and future generations will be the focus of the project.
The project will use targeted tools to engage and upskill/empower the different target audiences. We will consult with the business community to establish a collaborative approach to broadcasting the message that Cessnock’s woodlands, local birdlife and natural landscapes are unique. They have economic value due to this uniqueness and are worth protecting.
Coastal emus and koalas in the Clarence – $100,000
‘Coastal emus and koalas in the Clarence’ is an education project that builds capacity and equips landowners with methods to address identified threats to the endangered coastal emu and koala in the Clarence.
Consolidating partnerships formed between local and state government and the community, educational tools including film, on ground workshops and educational material will be developed and disseminated to landholders in emu and koala habitat areas to protect the last remaining coastal emu population and the disjunct flagging populations of koalas in the Clarence.
Weed finder – a self-help system for weed control – $48,762
This project will develop an online tool called the Weeds Finder that residential and rural landholders and the community can readily access and use with ease. The application will include:
- simple to use interactive key for weed identification
- weed control advice, photos of weeds
- recommendations of alternative bush friendly species
- garden design plans and advice.
It will empower people to make positive decisions about plant choices and reduce invasive weeds across all land tenure. Research has shown that once landholders have the skills to identify and treat weeds effectively they are more motivated to carry out ongoing weed control on their land, to educate others and reduce their impacts on bushland and waterways.
A trial version of the Weeds Finder has proven popular with users.
Hollows habitats for Hilltops – $40,800
‘Hollow habitats for hilltops’ aims to develop the knowledge, capacity and commitment of urban and rural residents in the Hilltops local government area to identify and conserve the habitat, including foraging habitat, for vulnerable hollow dependent birds and small mammal species. To supplement the remnant habitat, artificial hollows will be created and their usage monitored.
Through a network involving Local Land Services, Landcare Groups, Schools, and Service Organisations, the knowledge to identify, preserve, protect and augment tree hollows and their surrounding native habitat will be disseminated across the Hilltops region, commencing at Boorowa.
Living connections – $70,000
‘Living connections’ will connect and enhance identified fragmented habitat corridors in Waverley by working with up to 250 residents to increase native planting and habitat creation in their gardens and verges. Participants will be provided a tailored garden plan where appropriate, horticultural advice and suitable plants for their gardens and verges.
The project will also increase the community’s understanding of the importance of habitat for the conservation of biodiversity by engaging the wider community using the Habitat Stepping Stones web tool and through events and activities including a habitat creation workshop for landscape gardeners and architects.
Hands on for less waste – $20,000
This project will consist of a series of hands-on workshops in the Yass Valley local government area which will encourage people to reduce the amount of waste their household produces. The workshops will focus on the most preferred options in the Waste Management Hierarchy of Avoid, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The workshops will be targeted at all age groups, from schoolchildren to seniors, and will focus on being fun and hands-on, delivering real world skills to enable our community to reduce the amount of waste going to our landfill sites.
Statewide flying-fox community education and engagement program – $70,414
Conflict between flying foxes and the public is increasingly common, resulting in demands for various management activities that are often ineffective and expensive. Increasing public awareness on the importance of flying foxes and reducing unwarranted fear through education is proposed as a means to improve community resilience and tolerance, thereby reducing the need for intervention.
Councils have a key role in community education but must develop their own resources, which is costly and results in variable products. Hunter Councils is currently developing a flying-fox education kit that consolidates existing education material into a council specific fit-for-purpose tool for its member councils but there is a need for such a kit statewide.
This project will work with Hunter Councils to trial the kit in the Sydney region, refine and value-add to the material as required, and showcase the kit to councils statewide.
In the 2016 round the Environmental Trust approved 12 grants, totalling $907,060:
- community grants – 3 projects $238,571
- government grants – 9 projects $668,489.
|Organisation||Project title||Amount $|
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Dharma Karta Pty Ltd
Friends of the Koala Incorporated
3 projects totalling
Ballina Shire Council
Blue Mountains City Council
Canada Bay Council
Charles Sturt University
Hunter Councils Inc.
|Orange City Council||22,400|
|Taronga Conservation Society Australia||72,000|
|Tweed Shire Council||91,714|
9 projects totalling
Northern coastal rivers pest fish force – $61,950
Pest fish are on the rise in NSW coastal rivers, most notably the recent spread of carp throughout the Richmond River. For the first time in history the mouth-brooding Tilapia (prevalent in Queensland) have been positively identified (DPI Fisheries) in NSW, occurring in the Tweed catchment. This project will support the efforts of local fishing clubs and residents to remove carp from the river system through combining small local carp-muster events and water quality education into a catchment-wide event for the entire Richmond River. Similarly, a trial event will be held to capture Tilapia in the Tweed area, encouraging the local community, fishers and fishing clubs to get involved and to learn more about this new pest fish in their area and what actions they can take to control it. These events we will create lasting partnerships and tools that can be used by fishing clubs, fishers and the community in future pest fish efforts.
My community, my environment – $100,000
‘My community, my environment’ is an education program that fosters environmental awareness and action within culturally and linguistically diverse communities of Western Sydney. This project will work across four local government areas with an estimated 400 participants from various cultural groups; deliver over 250 study circles, workshops and place-based activities; activate participants through volunteering opportunities and create networks of eco-conscious communities empowered to play a more meaningful role in protecting the local environment. Through an innovative ‘values and empowerment’ approach, participants develop a greater connectivity to environmental issues and experience higher motivations for change. Participants will also gain sustainable living skills (e.g. recycling, water and energy saving), connect to their local natural sites and take positive action via eco-volunteering.
Koala watch: community-led koala recovery – Northern Rivers – $76,621
‘Koala watch’ is about empowering individuals in local communities in the Northern Rivers that live with koalas to gain the knowledge and skills to be proactive in the early detection of the major threats to the local koala populations and to undertake actions that reduce or eliminate these threats. The five major threats that the project will focus on are disease (Chlamydia and Retrovirus), dogs (domestic and wild), road vehicle collisions, catastrophic fire events, and severe storms. The project will include a number of workshops and the development and dissemination of a range of educational materials to enable local communities to identify visual, audible, and behavioural distress signs in koalas. It will target rural landholders and residents, urban residents, school students, and industry (dairy, beef, orchardists, floodplain croppers, lifestyle landholders) as well as the broader community.
Educating our community through animation: Let’s clean-up our river – $95,000
Local councils and organisations in the Richmond River catchment are banding together to create three short animated videos highlighting issues affecting water quality within our local rivers and streams. Each topic: (1) urban stormwater, (2) rural runoff and (3) recycled water, will feature local landmarks and identities. Content will target local water quality hotspots and issues. A serious message will be delivered within a quirky and light-hearted format using various digital media, e.g. council and community websites, social media, local cinemas, schools, and community events. By showcasing familiar local landscapes we aim to provide that jolt of recognition, leading to behavioural change.
Kids, communities and creeks project – $49,875
In an effort to protect local creeks and waterways from stormwater pollution, Blue Mountains City Council has teamed up with local schools and community volunteers to run the ‘Kids, communities and creeks’ project. With urban stormwater runoff being the number one cause of poor local water quality, the project aims to raise awareness of the impact of stormwater on our catchments and waterways, and to inspire people to take positive action in their area. Students will learn how to care for their local catchment and be empowered to turn their big ideas into action plans. Dedicated local conservation volunteers will also be involved through catchment education activities (such as drain stencilling) in their local area with the support of council. This project will run in schools and catchments across the Blue Mountains for three years.
Managing and protecting mangroves in Canada Bay – $37,500
‘Mind our mangroves’ works to address vandalism and poor public perception of mangroves in Canada Bay through education of local residents and community members by: (a) conducting photography and walking tour workshops to raise local awareness and educate the community about the function of mangroves in maintaining aquatic ecosystem health: providing habitat for juvenile fish, producing organic litter as an integral part of the food chain, acting as coastal kidneys buffering strong tides and filtering nutrients, pollutants and sediment, sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; and (b) commissioning artists to help children design public art installations about mangroves to be displayed in barbeque areas in passive foreshore parks.
Powering down: an energy efficiency education project – $100,000
‘Powering down’ is an energy-efficiency education project that targets ‘hard to reach’ householders (low income, CALD, refugees) and nearby schools (Year 5 students) in the Albury local government area. Through a community benchmarking survey, householders will be invited to participate in a year-long energy efficiency awards program. Participant success will be supported through an outreach team, physical information hub, workshops, and financial assistance for practical changes within households. Success in the schools category of the awards program will be supported through improved energy data access (where required) and a six-month Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics investigation about reducing energy consumption.
Flying Fox community engagement in the Hunter and Central Coast region – $100,000
Increasing conflict between flying foxes and human communities results in calls to disperse flying fox camps and remove habitat. A long-term regional approach to flying fox awareness and management is required to conserve flying foxes. This project will encourage positive change in community attitudes to flying foxes through a coordinated regional program of community education and engagement, adding value to existing initiatives. The development and implementation of a regional community awareness and engagement strategy across 11 council areas will include a flying fox resources kit, staff training, rollout of a flying fox decision-support tool, and direct engagement and capacity building of affected residents and community groups.
Backyard bushcare in Pacific Palms – $100,000
‘Backyard bushcare’ in Pacific Palms will be a community education and engagement program designed to change understanding, attitudes and behaviour around the management of vegetation on private properties to minimise invasive weed spread into bushland and improve habitat connectivity. Based on the latest in behaviour change theory, this program will result in long-term ongoing environmental benefits. Inspections of approximately 1000 private properties in the Pacific Palms area (including the residential areas of Boomerang Beach, Blueys Beach, Elizabeth Beach and Charlotte Bay) at the beginning and end of the program will provide concrete evidence of the effectiveness of the program, as well as providing opportunities for direct engagement. Exciting events and educational materials will be targeted to the specific community, priority weed species and barriers to change of the area.
High risk weeds study tour – $22,400
A study tour of high risk invasive weed species for local and state government weed officers from Central Tablelands, Central West and Western NSW to build their capacity to identify and manage one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and primary production in NSW. Weeds staff are at the front line of weed control, yet in this huge region, have limited opportunities to undertake further professional development. They will see first-hand, weed species not yet present in the region, be exposed to new, innovative control techniques, collaborate with neighbouring regions and improve community extension services leading to a generational change in weed management and protection of biodiversity across central and western NSW. Key to this projects success will be the development of a new educational tool to assist weeds staff to better engage and motivate the community to proactively manage invasive species.
Plastic-free oceans – $72,000
‘Plastic-free oceans’ is a behaviour-change campaign designed to protect our local environment, tackle one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our generation and safe-guard the marine turtle from extinction. Taronga Conservation Society, the Total Environment Centre and Clean-Up Australia will come together to raise awareness about the impact of single use plastics on our oceans to encourage schools and businesses across NSW to become plastic bag free. Working with local businesses through the Mosman Chamber of Commerce and by inspiring visitors and students to take action, Taronga Zoo will provide a pilot for change.
Love cats, love wildlife – $91,714
Tweed Shire has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Australia. This project aims to increase environmentally responsible cat ownership in coastal residential areas of Tweed Shire, leading to a reduction of the impacts of cats on native fauna. Through the use of community-based social marketing we will identify specific barriers and benefits to responsible cat ownership, and then foster positive behaviour change. The focus will be on voluntary participation and uptake by the community as this will lead to meaningful, lasting behaviour change. The outcome will be an increase in behaviour change towards responsible cat ownership, which will support the conservation of native fauna on the Tweed Coast.
In the 2015 round the Environmental Trust approved 16 grants, totalling $1,084,144:
- community grants – 8 projects totalling $614,181
- government grants – 8 projects totalling $469,963.
Ecological restoration case studies: online videos for learners – $79,110
The project will involve coordination, videoing and website publication of a permanent collection of approximately 50 seminar presentations and field trips over three years, showcasing outstanding ecological restoration and rehabilitation case studies for open access by bushland managers, students and any practitioners of ecological restoration and rehabilitation. The aim is to improve the practice of restoration in NSW by enabling broader dissemination of best practice restoration principles and to do so in a way that is consistent with emerging Australian national standards for ecological restoration.
Equipping regional sustainability education networks for creating change – $99,500
This two-year project will improve the quality of environmental education projects across NSW by increasing the capacity of 30 key volunteers from 12 volunteer-run regional sustainability educator networks (RSEN), which supports approximately 300 environmental educators. Key activities include a six-month skills development program for up to three volunteers from each RSEN to learn how to lead and manage effective and resilient regional groups; a nine-month mentoring and application period where RSENs are mentored to create a strategic plan, and receive support (financial and strategic) to carry out an on-the-ground environmental project; and a three-month celebration and evaluation period to share learnings and lessons for future projects across NSW.
Bellinger River freshwater habitat education and action program – $75,000
In response to high level of community concern over degraded terrestrial and aquatic habitat along the Bellinger River, this project will educate riparian landholders and the general community about the value of healthy riparian vegetation. A recent rare-turtle mortality event triggered an unprecedented interagency State government emergency response involving National Parks & Wildlife Services, DPI, North Coast Local Land Services and Taronga Zoo. To address habitat degradation, Bellinger Landcare will work with stakeholders to create a booklet and workshop series on best practice river rehabilitation, facilitating and promoting active landholder and community engagement in on ground works to regenerate lowland subtropical rainforest endangered ecological community.
Coexisting on the coast: saving our beach-nesting birds – $99,950
The NSW coast offers critical habitat for a suite of beach-dependent birds that nest in spring and summer when people most frequently visit beaches. These birds use camouflage and are sensitive to disturbance, making coexistence with people a conservation challenge! Beach-nesting shorebirds are widely dispersed, relying on cooperation between multiple agencies/groups. This project seeks to unify localised efforts for beach-nesters across NSW and to provide training and resources for best practice monitoring and site protection. We will concentrate public education activities around coastal caravan parks as hubs for reporting sightings, raising awareness and reducing predator impacts via improved litter management.
Coonamble Power Savers Program – $99,618
The Coonamble Power Savers Program (CPSP) will substantively improve the energy efficiency of 100 disadvantaged low-income homes in 3 remote townships in central west NSW by a median value of 15% across the households (equating to approximately $345 savings per household per year). Through strong local partnerships, the CPSP will arrange 100 educational home energy assessments, follow-ups, and the installation of tailored retrofits for each household. By leveraging the skillsets of the industry partners involved, the program will concurrently facilitate community discussion and action in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living. To ensure an enduring legacy, a committee will be established with the aim to develop a long-term residential energy efficiency strategy for the region.
Yass Gorge – being a good neighbour to the bush – $44,900
Yass River flows through the township of Yass, and at its heart is the picturesque Yass Gorge. The area supports a number of NSW-listed threatened species and an endangered ecological community, Natural Temperate Grassland. The river corridor has been significantly degraded by weed invasion and the dumping of rubbish and garden waste. The aim of this project is to run a series of community workshops and field days and to prepare a resource booklet to increase the community’s environmental awareness, with the aim to reduce impacts on this natural area, encourage sustainable living and help to protect the environment. The long-term goal is for the community to take personal ownership and responsibility for their local reserve and to help restore and protect the Yass River and its gorge.
Sustainability made easy at The Lost Plot – $16,560
Port Macquarie Community Gardens will run a series of at least 10 community sustainability workshops based at its garden – The Lost Plot. The workshops will educate and engage the community with the local environment and facilitate behaviour change with aim to supporting and enhancing biodiversity in our region. Workshop topics will include but not be limited to:
- making your neighbourhood koala-friendly
- making your garden bird-friendly
- making your yard frog-friendly
- building and maintaining a productive food garden in your yard or balcony
- worm-farming versus composting
- Natural Cleaning – no more nasty household chemicals
- sustainable food-shopping locally
- Love Food Hate Waste.
Belmont Wetlands State Park community engagement program – $99,543
Belmont Wetlands State Park is Crown Reserve covering 500 hectares of sensitive coastal wetland habitat in Lake Macquarie local government area. Its managed by a volunteer Trust and has two active Landcare groups. The Park is subject to urban pressures including weed infestation, waste dumping, unauthorised off-road vehicles and stormwater pollution. This community engagement program will engage local residents and user groups, promoting understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Park’s natural values. It will use social change tools to foster sustainable behaviours and a conservation ethic. WetlandCare Australia will partner with Conservation Volunteers Australia and work closely with the Trust, recruit and train volunteers, and create an engagement framework and resources to build their capacity to continue the program onwards.
Regional water quality education program – $48,000
Council plans on undertaking a community awareness/education program focused on how the quality of stormwater flows from the Cobar township will influence Cobar’s Newey Reservoir. The Reservoir is a popular recreational water area that is the primary catchment for stormwater flows from the majority of the Cobar urban area. This unprecedented education program will concentrate on primary and secondary school children, as well as the general Cobar community by communicating and demonstrating how stormwater flows can influence the water quality within the Newey Reservoir through evaluating and rehabilitating natural water courses, water quality testing, media communications and community education market stalls to promote the project.
Local government managing roadsides for biodiversity outcomes – $71,650
The project aims to prevent further loss of roadside vegetation through building council’s capacity to understand the value of their roadside environments. Roadside vegetation continues to be under threat from poor management practices, despite these areas often containing high value remnant vegetation and threatened ecosystems. This project is designed to facilitate a change in behaviour through building knowledge and understanding of managing roadside environments across council staff, with a focus on councils with limited capacity to undertake these professional development needs themselves. Councils that complete the proposed capacity building workshops will be well equipped to undertake their own assessment and planning for the management of roadside environments.
Fish friendly marine infrastructure – $69,950
A coast-wide education and extension program to deliver key concepts ensuring new and existing coastal infrastructure including boat moorings, sea walls and marinas are modified, upgraded and retrofitted so that they are fish friendly. Currently many of these necessary, existing structures, impact negatively on surrounding key fish habitat such as seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh endangered ecological communities and result in long-term negative influence on the productivity of local fishery resources. Increased capacity will enable delivery of new and updated concepts in coastal infrastructure design, construction and management, sensitive to surrounding fish habitat and supporting productive coastal fisheries.
Bush Trackers: guides created by kids for kids – $99,330
Following a local response to the nature deficit disorder suffered by some of our children and families, Bush Trackers is a successful environmental and cultural education initiative designed to engage more children and their families with the bush, and to promote the natural spaces within our local communities as child-friendly places. Bush Trackers encourages children in the region to learn about their local environment, cultural stories and bush safety and share their learning with other kids and families with the delightfully creative Bush Tracker Map and Guide, which can be downloaded and printed from the NPWS website.
Kick-starting the capacity to tackle (emergent) African olive in Port Stephens – $55,000
This project will implement a quality education program which will assist in increasing the skills in identification, control and removal of African olive by residents and agency staff. The African olive is an aggressive woody weed, capable of forming a dense and permanent canopy in a wide range of vegetation types. This weed invades pastoral lands and makes soils more susceptible to erosion. Over the last number of years, there has been an increased infestation of African olive particularly in the Nelson Plain, Brandy Hill, Hinton and Butterwick areas. If no action is taken to control this infestation, there will be continued loss of biodiversity, a continued impact on endangered ecological communities, further spread and establishment across Port Stephens and continual re-infestation of controlled areas with an increased cost of control in the future.
Wild things – $34,450
‘Wild things’ aims to increase habitat for urban native wildlife in the Rockdale local government area by educating the community through a series of talks and workshops covering birds in backyards, native frogs and reptiles, native bees, micro bats and native vegetation. The workshops will consist of a talk followed by a practical workshop where participants are able to build bee hotels, bird or bat nest boxes to take home and install in their back yard. Residents that have created habitats will be asked to become citizen scientists and regularly monitor their bee hotel, nest box etc. for colonisation by wildlife and report the results back to council.
Protecting Our Planet Kit – $41,583
The aim of the project is to develop a set of 16 environmental education kits called Protecting Our Planet Kit (PP Kit) that can be shared between families and early and middle education services delivered by Sutherland Shire Council’s Children’s Services Unit. The contents of the kits will include interactive play-based experiences, stories and other resources that educators and families can share and enjoy with children whilst promoting pro-environmental behaviours within the home setting and early childhood and school aged services. Each service will be able to utilise the kit within their curriculum and lend it to families to engage in environmental experiences at home, providing a collaborative approach towards sustainable living practices.
Tweed-Byron native species planting guide – $50,000
The project will deliver a user friendly online Native Species Planting Guide, allied smart phone application and booklets for Tweed and Byron Shires to assist in plant selection decision making for projects – from landscape-scale restoration to back garden planting. Currently data is in spreadsheet format, and although extensive is not readily disseminated. The new online interactive database will be promoted through Planting Guide Use information workshops, media promotion, updating, printing and distribution of the My Local Native Garden booklet. The new online guide will assist gardeners, landscapers, developers, land managers and bushland restoration professionals to make better informed decisions that enhance native fauna habitat and reduce costly weed infestations.
In the 2014 round the Environmental Trust approved 20 grants, totalling $1,212,452:
- community grants – 10 projects totalling $619,781
- government grants – 10 projects totalling $592,671.
Urban developers constructing a hollow future for Albury’s wildlife – $54,560
This two-year project aims to increase retention of hollow-bearing trees (HBTs) in Thurgoona/Wirlinga through collaboration with key stakeholders that have responsibilities for HBT conservation during the urban development process. The project will achieve its aims through implementing the following activities:
- surveying and mapping HBTs in Thurgoona/Wirlinga in partnership with key stakeholders and community groups
- establishing an HBT Working Group involving key development stakeholders (e.g. Albury City Council) to exchange information regarding HBT distribution, conservation values, threats, and opportunities to increase retention rates
- conducting training events for working group members to exchange information and promote increased protection of HBTs
- hosting a pilot Awards Program recognising local best practice in HBT retention.
Start the Switch NSW – $71,000
Start the Switch NSW will use a unique peer-to-peer sustainability education model to inspire, educate and empower high-school students to lead sustainability projects in their school or community. Start the Switch is run by young people for young people and has three program elements. First, we will reach thousands of students with our engaging 20-minute in-school presentation on the latest climate change science and sustainability information. Second, we will empower 200 students through transformative two-day leadership summits and regional workshops. Finally, we will mentor these students to lead successful sustainability projects that have a tangible environmental benefit.
Landscapes for urban wildlife project – $74,752
This project will identify four iconic species and their associated habitats. In each of the four areas we will undertake an engagement strategy based around:
- a survey of the local community regarding knowledge, values and attitudes towards the urban wildlife and iconic species in their area. This will be delivered through a range of strategies, including doorknocking, social media and stalls at key locations
- a workshop/field day presenting information and identifying actions to improve habitat/landscape for wildlife
- the Central Coast Wildwatch program targeting school-aged children and families and encouraging participation through a membership scheme, including a badge, certificate and newsletter
- implementation of actions as identified through the workshop over a 12–18-month period
- post evaluation of the program to measure engagement and changes in local community and measurable improvements in terms of habitat/species condition.
Environmental law for environmental decision-makers – $66,768
This project will deliver professional development training in the application and enforcement of environmental laws to local council and Local Land Services staff. The training will be provided by environmental law experts from EDO NSW via intensive full day workshops and complementary fact sheets, targeted to match the needs of each region, predominantly in rural and regional NSW.
Creating Gunnedah Regional Environmental Education Network (GREEN) – $83,750
The Gould League will foster and mentor the development of the Gunnedah Regional Environmental Education Network (GREEN), a community of excellence in practice in environmental education for teachers across 14 schools in the Gunnedah area. GREEN will provide teachers from these schools with professional development in environmental education delivered by Gunnedah TAFE (a centre of excellence in environmental education). This will be supported by an integrated cross-curriculum environmental education unit of work and online mentoring, webinars, tutorials and peer support. The aim is to enable teachers and other staff/parents to facilitate a model student-led wildscape habitat garden in their 14 schools, creating and building capacity to develop a master plan of student-centred environmental sustainability programs for 3 to 5-plus years beyond the formal project.
RAINtripleO – regenerative agriculture is now our only option – $96,432
RAINtripleO – will engage farmers to examine their production systems and understand how they work with – or against – the ecosystem processes that can and should support them.
Livestock producers in the Liverpool Plains will be enabled to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and resources to make much needed changes to their grazing and pasture management processes to increase their profitability, productivity and build resilience in a changing environment. A rehydrated landscape and improved biodiversity will enable them to better cope with climate change and the increased probability of severe weather events.
Paddock trees – their value and their vulnerability – $35,350
The project will provide a high-quality, educational film that demonstrates the crucial role of paddock trees in agricultural landscapes and the role of producers and landholders in protecting them. It will emphasise the functional role of paddock trees, their vulnerability, and the destructive impact of practices, such as stubble burning. The 12-minute film will be downloadable from the internet and screened at meetings/workshops. It will include commentary from ecologists and on-site interviews with land managers in the field who are actively conserving trees. The film will be promoted at events, community meetings and through social media.
Community action blueprint to enhance estuarine habitat resilience – $43,850
Solitary Islands Underwater Research Group (SURG) members will undertake in-water estuarine surveys to determine the presence of threatened and protected marine species and identify the critical habitat they rely upon. Seagrass cover, areas with complex habitats and deep holes will be geo-referenced along four estuaries. Mini-baited underwater video will identify species that use these habitats during different seasons. Information collected will form the foundation of interpretive educational material to be displayed at high-use locations along the estuaries. Debris surveys and visual censuses will be conducted in and adjacent to critical habitats to quantify local threats to critical habitats. Interpretive plaques will be placed on estuary boardwalks with brochures and teaching material developed and made available to the wider community via volunteer groups and government websites.
Waste-management education in the aged-care industry – $60,000
Waste management in the aged-care industry is a critical issue requiring targeted educational materials due to the cultural diversity of staff members and residents. Through the production of a video, e-learning tool and other materials, UnitingCare strives to increase recycling rates up to 80% of general waste within its residential aged care facilities and demonstrate to its industry that large environmental and economic gains can be achieved through better waste management.
Can do campers – $33,319
Holiday parks are set in some of the most picturesque and valuable landscapes in NSW. For example, the Red Rock Holiday Park is located in Red Rock Reserve, on the mid-north coast of NSW, a 43-hectare area of high-conservation-value vegetation containing numerous endangered ecological communities and rare and threatened flora and fauna species. This project will design an environmental action program that can be run by park managers to engage their guests in their local environment, providing hands-on education, greater environmental awareness, an additional holiday experience and an improved local environment.
Development and provision of training for sewer leak investigations – $60,000
In response to requests from local government officers and in an effort to improve water quality in the Sydney Basin, this joint Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Sydney Water project involves the development and provision of an education course for council officers on systematically investigating and remediating leaking sewers and illegal sewer connections. The education course will consist of a one-day workshop and one-day field trip. The course will be implemented for up to three groups of not more than 10 council officers.
GWCC500: Focus on biodiversity and native vegetation education – $58,600
During the biodiversity and native vegetation education stage of the GWCC500, schools will attend regional environmental workshops and seed collection workshops conducted by GWCC500 technical experts and Riverina Local Land Services. Topics will include ground preparation, bird/bat nest-boxes, revegetation planting, monitoring and native seed collection. Schools will be assisted in completing their corridor revegetation projects and with monitoring their corridor area. Data monitored bird and microbat boxes will be installed for each school; information will be available nationally and internationally via the world wide web.
COSS Wildlife Corridors: actions on private land – $33,900
Gosford’s Coastal Open Space System (COSS) is a network of bushland reserves on the Central Coast of NSW that were created 30 years ago to preserve the landscape and prevent further deterioration of habitat. However, many wildlife corridors linking these reserves now have limited functionality, and with the current expansion of urban development, there is an increasing probability of biodiversity loss in this area. The Wildlife Corridors Project is a collaborative project between the Community Environment Network and State and Local Governments to engage landholders to improve or establish new corridors in this area.
Sustainable land management for Sydney-based rural landholders – $72,000
This project will target and build connections with Sydney-residing rural landholders in NSW in order to raise their awareness and knowledge of land management issues and the opportunities available to undertake sustainable land management. The project will liaise statewide with other NSW Local Land Services regions to identify these stakeholders and land management issues (such as water, vegetation and biodiversity management), and address these through workshops in the metropolitan area and a free smart phone app which will provide spatially relevant information for absentee landholders about local resources, Landcare networks and support agencies and natural resource management advice about rural living. Changes in practices will be measured through reporting back from regional agencies, Landcare groups and app uploads of photographic evidence.
Building landholder capacity to manage ecosystem services – $100,000
Lismore City Council’s Rural Landholder Initiative (RLI) includes an education component that will build landholder capacity to manage ecosystem services and make best practice land management decisions to improve ecosystems and biodiversity. Council has partnered with Southern Cross University (SCU) to work with rural land managers, industry groups and other stakeholders to develop a program that maximises participation and biodiversity outcomes. The education program will be based on the Biodiversity ABCD Framework for the incremental improvement of land management practices. Implementation will include site/property planning workshops, field days at demonstration sites, and distribution of resource kits providing specific land management techniques targeted at particular industry and landholder groups.
A freshwater toxic algal bloom resource kit to improve monitoring – $67,000
This project will create a new resource kit and communication and education platform to assist community detection of algal blooms. Resources will be made more accessible through electronic sources (websites, PDF links, communication), a phone app and a network of government staff to support the improved monitoring of blooms. The products will be supported through a series of community workshops across NSW (‘scum schools’) which will educate the participants about algal blooms. Participants will be trained in sampling, detecting and confirming blooms and receive a resource kit for identifying blooms and taking samples. The workshops and project will use community water monitoring networks and other interested participants.
Coastal ambassadors program for nippers ‘Coastal Kids’ – $45,900
The development and delivery of an environmental education program that will provide engaging environmental education for children aged 5–17 years participating in Nippers and Cadets program at six surf lifesaving clubs on the northern beaches of Sydney over a two-year period. The program will consist of three one-hour education sessions for Nippers and two sessions for Cadets. Education sessions will be hands on workshops that focus on waste and marine biodiversity. This program will be delivered by Pittwater Council’s education staff delivering quality engaging environmental education as a part of the existing Nippers education program. A train the trainer program will also be included to give Nippers coordinators and educators the ability to continue to deliver environmental education as a part of the Nippers program.
Threatened shorebirds community and schools education project – $75,519
The South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program aims to improve the breeding success of endangered shorebirds nesting on south coast beaches through survey, monitoring and nest protection works. The success of this program relies on the efforts of more than 100 dedicated community volunteers and the support of the local community. Through school and community education activities to improve knowledge and raise awareness, this project will increase support for the program in the wider community and reduce disturbance to nesting areas from beachgoers and dog walkers, thereby improving breeding success and assisting in the recovery of these endangered species.
Bat and flying fox education and engagement program – $64,852
Development and delivery of education programs and resources to help protect flying foxes and micro bats with a focus on the grey-headed flying fox. This program aims to enhance awareness and understanding through improving community, schools and government access to current and up to date educational material and by engaging and educating the local community through facilitated, innovative workshops and events.
Sustainable grazing in the Tweed Valley – $14,900
This project will educate commercial cattle graziers in the Tweed local government area about the importance of soil health as the basis for sustainable grazing systems. This will lead to the uptake of improved soil management practices that result in a reduction in erosion and runoff to the benefit of waterway health and farm profitability. Graziers will gain the information and knowledge required to develop farm plans that identify the natural resource values and constraints on their land as well as develop strategies to improve management of these values on which their grazing operations depend.
In the 2013 round the Environmental Trust approved 17 grants, totalling $924,339:
- community grants – 9 grants totalling $442,787
- government grants – 8 grants totalling $481,552.
|Organisation||Project title||Amount $|
|1 Million Women||1 Million Women NSW community network||
|AHC (Australian Hairdressing Council Limited)||Sustainable Salons||
|Australian Seabird Rescue Inc.||Changing domestic dog owners' behaviour to save shorebirds||
|Centre for Sustainability Leadership||Regional environmental leaders program||
|Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby||Brush-tailed rock wallaby: growing resilience in our community||
|Ginninderra Catchment Group||Tadpole kits for schools program||
|NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network||Eco smart for Family Day Care (FDC)||
|Take 3 Inc.||Take 3 surf life saving initiative - sand soldiers program||
|Youth Express Association Inc.||Woodberry community, culture and caring||
9 projects totalling
|Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust||Bush OOSH - a pilot study of bush schools for OOSH groups||
|GreenWay Program||Implementing the GreenWay primary schools sustainability program||
|Queanbeyan City Council||Engaging Googong in sustainable housing||
|Randwick City Council||Join the energy revolution||
|Rous Water||Hands on for H2O - our water lab||
|Southern Cross University||Climate change and me: Empowering children and young people||
|University of Western Sydney||Bee aware of your native bees||
|Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC)||Advancing sustainability leaders||
8 projects totalling
1 Million Women NSW community network – $78,400
1 Million Women (1MW) fosters women’s leadership to drive practical environmental action. 1MW will establish and grow a pilot network of community-based groups in five outer-metropolitan and rural/regional centres in NSW, led by local ‘convenors’. These on-the-ground local hubs will coordinate activities and events in their locales to promote the 1MW way of living, based on our practical agenda to save energy and cut waste and pollution while helping the household budget. We focus on food, home energy, transport, money, shopping and sharing. The learning and outcomes from the initial five local groups will be used to expand to other local communities, including the production of a how-to-manual and recruitment plan.
Sustainable salons – $54,000
This project will develop reference resources for environmental sustainability education, contextualised to the hairdressing industry for salons, TAFE, and private Registered Training Organisation hairdressing teachers. Ten salons of various sizes will be selected from different locations and will be mentored as they trial energy- and water-saving and waste-reduction strategies. Their progress will be reported, utilising the AHC Facebook ‘Sharing Ideas’ page as the key communication tool. Through the development of a community of practice 350 hairdressers, members of the AHC, will continue to learn and inform each other as experience, practice and new products are developed.
Changing domestic dog owners’ behaviour to save shorebirds – $53,140
‘Dog’s breakfast’ educational days aim to bring about long-term social change in dog owner behaviour by informing dog owners about threats of unleashed dogs to beach-nesting birds and migratory shorebirds. The project will be run in the Northern Rivers area and will cover the areas designated in the Northern Rivers Regional Shorebird Strategy 2012-2017, from the Tweed to the Clarence.
Regional environmental leaders program – $50,000
The regional environmental leaders program (RELP) will improve the skills, networks and knowledge that emerging leaders from all sectors and professions need to create positive environmental change in their regions, communities and workplaces. The key community need that RELP addresses is capability building for sustainability leadership. Research has identified that there is a gap in the development of the next generation of leaders. Building the leadership capacity and networks of emerging indigenous and rural leaders will directly improve their efforts to make regional Australia more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
Brush-tailed rock wallaby: growing resilience in our local community – $47,240
The brush-tailed rock-wallaby (BTRW) is an endangered species listed as iconic by the NSW Government. The Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby (FBTRW) community conservation program will deliver in-depth education to local schools enabling student participation in the NSW BTRW Program, including release of captive-bred BTRW, implementation of vital management practices, and information sharing with other schools. The program will include an information drive with educational DVDs and brochures to promote the local community’s understanding of the key role they play in directly assisting local BTRW conservation. Chemical training and an information workshop on habitat protection and threat abatement will be provided to landholders. The education package will be shared through our partnerships with other environmental organisations.
Tadpole Kits for Schools program – $12,450
The Tadpole Kits for Schools program supplies schools in the NSW area bordering the ACT with a complete tadpole raising kit to enable students aged 4-16 years to observe the development from tadpoles to frogs while caring for the animals in a safe and controlled environment. Technical support will ensure that schools receive tadpoles of appropriate frog species from secure sources while minimising negative impacts on local frog communities. Educational material provided will teach students about the anatomy, physiology and ecology of frogs, their protected status, and the dangers of translocating tadpoles or frogs from the wild. A visit from the Frogwatch educator will further explore these topics through interactive tasks and games investigating frog-friendly habitat.
Eco smart for Family Day Care (FDC) – $29,980
Eco Smart for Family Day Care (ESfDC) will build upon Eco Smart for Early Childhood to assist FDC carers to implement a sustainable Quality Improvement Plan therefore impacting on communities. ECEEN, Marrickville Council and Leichhardt Council (and potentially Botany and Canada Bay) Family Day Care services will collaborate to review the existing Eco Smart for Early Childhood and develop the new ESfFDC by: (1) initial presentation of Eco Smart for Early Childhood to FDC Children’s Services Advisors (CSAs) and all of the educators; (2) sessions to develop ESfFDC, including CSAs, Sustainability Education, Aboriginal Heritage Officers and ethnic groups’ representatives; (3) trial, mentor and evaluate ESfFDC in a variety of FDC homes; (4) finalise the new ESfFDC; and (5) disseminate to FDC throughout NSW.
Take 3 surf lifesaving initiative – sand soldiers program – $68,028
The ‘Take 3 surf lifesaving initiative: sand soldiers program’ seeks to introduce a simple, accessible and easily rolled-out campaign to educate and inspire surf lifesaving clubs (SLSC) to be proactive on the issue of marine debris. Training, support and resources will be provided to SLSC, with an impetus to institute a Take 3 Ambassador in each club. Ambassadors will be responsible for ongoing Take 3 actions and education of members, particularly juniors. SLSC in the Sydney and Central Coast regions will be targeted in the first year, campaign extending to regional NSW SLSC in subsequent years.
Woodberry community, culture and caring – $49,549
Woodberry community, culture and caring (WCCC) will raise awareness of environmentally sustainable practices at an individual and community level in the Woodberry area. WCCC will engage and inform the Woodberry community at all levels about ways they can sustainably improve their local environment. It will employ a coordinator who will facilitate workshops, community events and the construction and planting of a community garden designed to engage community from early childhood to seniors. WCCC will raise awareness/change behaviours of traditional ecological methods (Aboriginal culture), food production, waste management, power savings, animal impacts, local amenity, cleaning and chemicals. Food grown will be distributed to disadvantaged homes. Cultural awareness focussing on stewardship of the land will be integral to the project.
Bush OOSH – a pilot study of bush schools for OOSH groups – $76,400
Bush OOSH (Out Of School Hours) is an exciting new Centennial Parklands education program run in partnership with Network of Community Activities. It engages children and educators from vacation and after-school care centres in nature-play activities designed to increase environmental awareness, confidence and knowledge. It will help OOSH centres to fulfil requirements of the ‘My Time, Our Place’ Framework for School Age Care, as well as giving participants a meaningful connection to a natural place. This 10-week, ten OOSH centres pilot study of the program will lead to development of resources to be used within OOSH and environmental education networks Australia-wide.
Implementing the GreenWay primary school’s sustainability program – $19,750
The GreenWay is a cycling, open space and urban bush corridor in Sydney’s Inner West. Extending for 5 kilometres along Hawthorne Canal and the Inner West Light Rail, this regionally significant environmental corridor links two of Sydney’s most important waterways, the Parramatta River and the Cooks River. For 15 years, residents and four Inner West councils have been working together to implement the GreenWay vision. The GreenWay primary schools sustainability program uses the GreenWay as an outdoor classroom. It was piloted in three GreenWay schools during 2011–12. Its education qualities have been recognised in an award from the NSW Commission for Children and Young People and through its accreditation by the NSW Teachers Institute for use in primary schools. Funds will be used to implement the program in ten primary schools along the GreenWay.
Engaging Googong in sustainable housing – $99,758
This project is a rare and exciting opportunity to improve environmental outcomes for the biggest housing development in NSW outside Sydney. Googong will be self-contained township near Queanbeyan and its 5500 homes will host up to 15,000 residents by 2030. A free advisory service with an architect, workshops and online resources will increase home owners’ awareness and understanding of the environmental and cost benefits that can be achieved through sustainable design and building principles, empowering them to pursue their implementation with their builders and designers. Building the capacity, supporting and encouraging builders and council staff to facilitate sustainable building will ensure a holistic approach to this education and engagement project and success in creating a more sustainable township.
Join the energy revolution – $40,000
The Energy Revolution is an energy efficiency program targeting householders that aims to widen the community’s knowledge of skills and commitment to reducing energy consumption, their resultant greenhouse gas emissions and dealing with the concern over increasing power bills. As part of an action-based learning program over 12 months, the Energy Revolution will work with a trial group of 600 householders across Sydney’s Eastern suburbs to help them reduce their home energy use by a measurable 20% over the year.
Hands on for H2O – our water lab – $24,548
An interactive science education facility for students, teachers and our Northern Rivers community. Through a series of self-led water experiments, participants are engaged and challenged to learn more about water and take action for sustainable water use. It is located at the local Environmental Education Centre, staffed by trained educators, and available for children and adults in school classes, community education programs and family groups on weekend and holiday open days. Teacher training workshops support further water science in schools. Video conferences reach out to more teachers and encourage students to share their sustainable water actions across our region.
Climate change and me: Empowering children and young people – $74,903
This project will empower children and young people to act on climate change. Working towards the NSW 2021 goals, this project aims to strengthen local environments and communities by increasing opportunities for children and young people to be proactive in climate change education. This project is highly significant by giving youth in northern regional NSW a voice in the climate change debate and indeed ‘their’ associated education. The project engages youth (9-14 years, grades 5-9) through an action-driven process resulting in the development of the ‘Climate Change & Me Challenge, Exhibition, Curriculum, Network & Dialogue for and by Children and Young People’ targeted at regional NSW (Northern Rivers) primary and secondary schools.
Bee aware of your native bees – $58,693
The Bee Aware of Your Native Bees program is a unique, experiential learning-focussed, environmental education program based across selected sites in Greater Western Sydney and Lithgow. The program aims to promote the conservation of native bees by building awareness of their existence and importance as pollinators, assessing current distribution, diversity and habitat preference, and increasing existing populations by the installation of artificial ‘bee hotels’. The Bee Aware of Your Native Bees program will also host a regional bee symposium at the University of Western Sydney involving community, council, educators and academics, thus providing a platform for networking and ongoing and future projects.
Advancing sustainability leaders – $87,000
Advancing Sustainability Leaders (ASL) is an innovative program for managers and emerging leaders in NSW local government. It develops the capacity of participants to become effective sustainability leaders and catalysts for change within their council and community to increase the delivery of leading practice water projects. Up to 25 managers and emerging leaders from WSROC and Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) councils will take part in the program of: training; individual coaching; personal capacity assessments and feedback; guest speakers; professional development planning; mentoring and peer learning as they implement their water sustainability projects. Eligible councils are: Ashfield, Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Canada Bay, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Holroyd, Hunters Hill, Leichardt, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, Ryde and Strathfield.
In the 2012 round the Environmental Trust approved 15 grants, totalling $905,896:
- community grants – 9 projects totalling $472,201
- government grants – 6 projects totalling $433,695.
|Organisation||Project title||Amount $|
|Australian Fishing Trade Association||Tackle shops taking on the fish habitat challenge||
|BirdLife Australia||Birds in schools||
|Bundanoon Community Association Inc.||Grow our own food for environmental sustainability and health||
|Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre Inc.||Enhance community knowledge about changes in the marine environment||
|Earthwatch Institute Australia||Marine climate change monitoring by citizen scientists||
|Motor Traders Association of New South Wales||Green Stamp Plus: sustainability for the automotive industry||
|Murrumbidgee Landcare Association Incorporated||Connecting young people and farming communities||
|Permaculture Hunter Incorporated||Permaculture workshop and Permablitz program||
|Skillset (Central West Group Apprentices Ltd)||Natural landscape function for small rural lifestyle farmers||
9 projects totalling
|Access Macquarie Limited||Habitat stepping stones||
|Canterbury City Council||Sustainability in the CALD business community||
|Eurobodalla Shire Council||Building community sustainability||
|Griffith City Council||Get SepticSmart||
|Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust||Supporting public engagement in plant conservation using new media||
|Shellharbour City Council||Growing minds greening communities||
6 projects totalling
Tackle shops taking on the fish habitat challenge – $52,400
Bait and tackle shop operators are an integral part of the recreational fishing community and have a role to play in ensuring the ongoing sustainability and productivity of local fisheries. This project assists bait and tackle shop operators to have constructive and informative interaction with their recreational fishing clients about the importance of fish habitat and environmental restoration. It also fosters a ‘fish-friendly’ approach to engaging in local environmental issues affecting fish habitat. The project pilots a hands-on approach supported by web-based resources, and builds on an emerging capacity within the recreational fishing community to be actively involved in improving productivity of fisheries through habitat rehabilitation.
Birds in schools – $97,222
Birds in Schools aims to address the decline in birds and bird diversity in the local government areas (LGA) of Parramatta, Auburn, Ryde, Strathfield and Canada Bay by increasing bird-friendly habitat in primary schools. Through the development of a Stage 3 curriculum-based education program delivered through school excursions to the BirdLife Discovery Centre, incursions to local schools (including planting days), ‘connected classroom’ technology and teacher professional development, the project will increase knowledge and skills within schools which supports behaviour change to actively protect, restore and create bird-friendly habitat and improve bird diversity in the Parramatta River Catchment.
Grow our own food for environmental sustainability and health – $19,920
This project aims to increase the production and consumption of locally grown food by community members, in ways that promote both human and environmental sustainability and health. This will be done through building a ‘community of practice and peer support’ in local food growing, centred around the recently-formed Bundanoon Community Garden, and through helping community members to access much-needed education in how to do it well and sustainably. We will design and deliver a series of workshops as part of an action- learning curriculum that meets the needs of local people for growing food in one’s own (or communal) backyard.
Enhance community knowledge about changes in the marine environment – $22,120
This project will develop a free NSW Redmap smartphone/tablet application to allow the public to report their sightings of species while out playing and working in the marine environment, it will provide easy access to species descriptions, and reduce time spent recording data. Redmap, a web-based citizen science project, allows all users of the marine environment to report observations or catches of marine species outside of their normal distribution. Redmap raises public awareness about climate change impacts whilst valuing information held within the community, a complementary smartphone/tablet application will increase knowledge exchange and boost environmental awareness in the community.
-change monitoring by citizen scientists – $85,460
Earthwatch Australia will bring climate change scientists and the community together to develop the first long-term monitoring program for coastal biodiversity along the NSW coast under the national web-based climate change program Climate Watch Marine. Funding will provide marine educators with materials, training, a sampling framework and a feedback and reporting mechanism. The program will raise awareness in all sectors of society (specifically environmental community groups and youth) about the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on intertidal ecosystems through active participation of meaningful scientific data collection, leading to greater environmental stewardship in coastal communities.
Green Stamp Plus: sustainability for the automotive industry – $100,000
The Green Stamp Plus program educates and empowers small businesses in the automotive industry to not only meet their environmental legislative requirements but to also exceed them, in the move towards a sustainable future. Green Stamp Plus helps small businesses in the motor industry by providing informative and relevant resources, raising awareness on environmental issues and technologies, offering training and providing advice on industry best practice, all of which actively facilitate behavioural shifts. Businesses that excel are also recognised through an Accreditation program and an annual award. Green Stamp Plus alerts businesses to what they need to do and then supplies the tools for this to be easily achieved.
Connecting young people and farming communities – $53,639
This project will create activity and excursion templates/packages, including contact details for farmers who have offered their time and/or property for educational activities, for K-6 children in regional and rural schools. The activities will focus on key issues of sustainable agriculture and environmental management in their local community. This approach overcomes the significant hurdles that schools face in creating curriculum relevant activities and links young people in the mid Murrumbidgee Catchment with their local farming and Landcare community. The project will facilitate three farm visits in year one and six in year two to pilot those packages. A secondary aim of the project is to influence primary school children to choose pathways in high school that interface with the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE), leading on to vocational and tertiary training for agricultural and environmental roles in rural areas.
Permaculture workshop and Permablitz program – $10,940
The Permaculture workshop and Permablitz program, run by Permaculture Hunter, is a fun and practical way to educate people about Permaculture creating more sustainable lifestyles. The program achieves this firstly with our Introduction to Permaculture workshop that teaches productive food growing techniques; making and using compost; backyard chicken keeping; worm farming; and how to start a community garden. Secondly, the program will hold Permablitz events where the community gets together in a well-coordinated day to undertake conversions of gardens and open spaces into productive edible gardens with interpretive signage for educational purposes.
Natural landscape function for small rural lifestyle farmers – $30,500
This project will enable Skillset to deliver a one-day Natural Landscape Function Fundamentals workshop to some 50 rural lifestyle land owners around Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, Cowra and Dubbo, to assist them to adopt sustainable land management practices that will reduce energy use, waste, salinity, erosion and other environmental impacts on their properties. In partnership with Rahamim Ecological Learning Community, Central West CMA and CENTROC, the workshops will assist participants to understand water – nutrient movement, salinity, erosion and wetlands; plants – what they do and how; and Ecosystem Function – the processes that regulate life.
Habitat stepping stones – $77,390
This pilot project will create an engaging educational tool for Ku-ring-gai Council including an online map showing individual properties and existing wildlife corridors. Online information will include how property owners can add habitat features to create effective ‘habitat stepping stones’ between the corridors. Clicking an online pledge to include such habitat will result in the property being highlighted on the map and provided with a habitat stepping stone sign for the property’s frontage. Extensive promotion including social networking initiatives will further increase community awareness and promote long-term behaviour change around urban wildlife habitat.
Sustainability in the CALD business community – $100,000
This project will provide support for food-based small-medium sized businesses in the Ashfield and Canterbury council areas to reduce waste, save energy and water and save money. Businesses from culturally and linguistically diverse communities will provided with tools, resources and information in their own language by an innovative methodology, utilising bilingual council staff to support conversations between participating businesses and project staff.
Building community sustainability – $70,620
The ‘Building community sustainability’ project involves a building sustainability performance assessment of 50 community buildings in the Eurobodalla Shire. More than 100 user groups, including sports clubs, youth groups, craft groups, and the Rural Fire Service, will be invited to take part in hands-on workshops that will improve the energy and water efficiency of their community buildings. Community members will be engaged to take pride in the sustainability performance of their buildings and apply what they have seen to their own homes. This will result in substantial energy and water savings in these buildings. Community building user groups and their networks will be encouraged to make save power pledges. Incentives and prizes will be awarded to the participating community group that generates the most save power pledges in their network.
Get SepticSmart – $16,000
The Get SepticSmart project will educate householders and businesses who are not connected to a reticulated sewerage facility about operating and maintaining their onsite sewage management system (septic system) in a safe, sustainable and responsible manner. The project aims to reduce the number of pollution incidents caused by failing systems to help improve and protect the environment and the public’s health. The project includes conducting a workshop with key stakeholders, developing and distributing an education kit to approximately 3,500 residents and delivering a communication campaign in the Griffith local government area. The project will build evidence-informed practice that can be shared with other councils.
Supporting public engagement in plant conservation using new media – $74,000
To produce unique Australian interpretive material for public exhibition for use in education programs to enhance visitor engagement with PlantBank, a $19.8 million plant science, conservation and education facility, currently being built at The Australian Botanic Garden (TABG) near Campbelltown. This project will complement existing TABG education programs and will foster community appreciation of the importance of scientific research into the diversity of Australian plants and their conservation challenges. By providing interpretation on eight real and tangible iconic Australian plant species and access through new media to the staff and functions of PlantBank, the public will develop knowledge and skills that empower them to become involved in, and contribute to, species conservation and habitat remediation.
Growing minds, greening communities – $95,685
‘Growing minds, greening communities’ is a holistic community sustainability education program that will involve staff, children and parents from participating child care centres in the Shellharbour local government area. The program aims to address the issues of waste minimisation, water and energy consumption, biodiversity conservation and sustainable food production within child care centres and households, with a specific focus on engaging with centres and families from low socio-economic areas. The program will provide staff and parents with the skills and knowledge to reduce their impact on the environment and achieve real cost savings. The project also aims to provide children with a series of activities and experiences to develop respect, care and appreciation for the natural environment in fulfilment of the objective two of the Early Years Learning Framework.