Community groups share knowledge and achievements at Townsville forum

Landcare group representatives from as far afield as Barcaldine, Charters Towers and Bowen travelled to Townsville last week to share experiences, troubleshoot problems, and explore new opportunities at a Community Landcare Forum hosted by NQ Dry Tropics.

From desert uplands to coastal wetlands, landcare groups have been working tirelessly to protect their local landscapes through activities such as weeding, erosion control, and native plant revegetation.

NQ Dry Tropics CEO, Dr Scott Crawford, said that this work, often performed by volunteers, is a crucial element in the overall effort to protect our natural resources:

“Our region is home to many dedicated groups working across a range of landscapes. Their local expertise and passion are a major asset, and NQ Dry Tropics works to strengthen and empower them by building their skills, knowledge and internal capacity.

“We partner with many community groups on a wide range of projects, and also administer grants programmes that support them to carry out their work.

“The aim of the forum was two-fold. Firstly, it gave everyone an opportunity to share their successes and challenges. Secondly, it gave us all a chance to hear ideas from the region’s community groups on how we can collectively better support the work that they do. These ideas will form the basis of a Landcare Support Strategy,” he said.

During the forum, community groups spoke about their concerns:

“Finding hands to do the work is always a challenge, and funding can be a big barrier,” said Lucy Holmes, Project Officer at Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc.

Carolyn Dixon, Magnetic Island National Park Volunteers Coordinator, said: “People often can’t tell when we weed. They think it just happens naturally. Ten years ago Florence Bay was 99 per cent periwinkle – they don’t know that the first time it took a whole year to remove the weeds.

“It’s interesting to see all of these different groups, and a great opportunity to be part of this great mesh of landcare,” Carolyn said.

To get involved with or volunteer for local landcare groups, please visit the Volunteering Dry Tropics Facebook Page or contact NQ Dry Tropics for more information.

Main photo: Landcare group representatives at Townsville Forum.