What is Landcare?
Landcare is a grass roots community movement, which brings together groups of people who share a common problem. While many of the original Landcarers were farmers, the Landcare concept has now extended well beyond this to include coastal and urban communities working in a range of vegetation communities and working towards dealing with a range of environmental issues from land degradation, to habitat and genetic diversity loss in ecological communities, to water quality control and improvement. Participants involved in Landcare projects range from farmers, to students and schools, residents of urban areas and local businesses. Landcare really is for everyone!
In the twenty years since the first group formed, Landcare has become an ethic, related to the stewardship principles where Landcarers work to protect or improve the environment for the future. Landcare groups in Australia are supported by Landcare Australia as a national body, and in the Illawarra region Ladcare groups can seek assistance and support from the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and District Landcare Association - Landcare Illawarra, for a range of things including assistance with funding applications, technical advice and free training opportunities to improve knowledge and skills in Landcare related activities.
Landcare groups usually form when community members with common objectives connect over their observations of a local environmental issue. For example erosion of sand dunes due to mismanaged beach access or weeds affecting agricultural productivity. Groups design their own projects, undertake work as often as they like and choose the sites they wish to invest their efforts in consultation with relevant government agencies and landholders. Groups may apply for funding to support or enhance their efforts from a variety of different sources including local, state, federal government as well as Landcare Australia.
For more information about Landcare, visit the Landcare Australia website.
How do I get involved?
If Illawarra Intrepid Landcare is not your cup of tea, but you would still like to volunteer, there are many ways you can get involved with your local Landcare groups! If you are from the Illawarra, check out the Landcare Illawarra website for more information about the many active groups working in your area. If you are beyond our region and want to connect to a local group near you, head to the National Landcare Directory on the Landcare Australia website to see who you can connect to today! Landcare would LOVE to have your helping hands.