Local community groups who attended an NQ Dry Tropics site management planning workshop in Townsville last week learned important skills that will help them deliver their projects more effectively.

The aim of the workshop was to to help landcare community groups create their own site management plans. These plans are important for groups to develop their goals and know how they are going to reach them. The plans keep all the landcare site information in one place, align their work with strategic plans and create a work plan for volunteers.

The workshop was hosted by NQ Dry Tropics’ Engaging and Strengthening Communities project, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.  

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer Thijs Krugers said community groups had specifically highlighted site management planning as a skill they wanted to develop further.

“We conducted an annual survey of local community groups to understand their interests and find out what training they required to improve their skills and knowledge to undertake natural resource management projects,” Mr Krugers said.

Participants from community groups worked with staff from Townsville City Council and industry professionals to create new or update site management plans. They used an NQ Dry Tropics template which contains live links to regionally-specific information and resources.

The workshop was a great networking and training opportunity, and was well received by attendees. Project officer Lucy Holmes, from Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc. said the clearly structured site management plans in the template were useful.

“Having a template to work from reduces pressure on community groups when creating new plans, and updating old ones,” Ms Holmes said.

“A plan can streamline partnerships with other stakeholders, for example local council, by formalising partners’ roles, ” she said.

Thijs Krugers added that the Engaging and Strengthening Communities project had supported many community-based projects to protect and preserve important natural habitats over the last few years:

“Community groups continue to carry out amazing work at many locations in and around Townsville to reduce the amount of invasive species in our natural systems, and restore ecological function, but they are always looking for people who want to get involved,” Mr Krugers said.

“Many community groups work on natural areas that also serve as recreation and leisure hotspots, especially in Townsville, with areas such as the Ross River, Ross Creek, and the Town Common providing scenic views and habitats for fishing, birdwatching, boating, and swimming,” he said.

Visit the Volunteering Dry Tropics Facebook page to learn more about local community group projects.