Recruitment of new volunteers and an aging population have been recognised as key challenges in the Landcare community. Nearly 900 groups contribute over 125,000 volunteer hours annually to on-ground restoration in Sydney. Without adequate succession planning this contribution could be lost. Young people care about the environment and want to get involved with Landcare, but lack connections and don’t know how to get started. Additionally, existing groups led by young people are in need of new volunteers and training opportunities.
Get Your Hands Dirty! is a series of on-ground volunteering opportunities and training workshops to empower young people (16-35 year olds) to take leadership in caring for the natural landscape. This project aims to run monthly events over a year, which will connect young people to their local bushland, like-minded peers, and the existing Landcare and Bushcare community.
Funding was secured through successful Community Environment Programme and Australia Post Grants to deliver monthly events over one year. Before COVID – 19 restrictions, four events were delivered with collaborators in Landcare, Bushcare, Local Government, and National Parks. Extensions have been secured for all of the grant funding for this program until mid-2021.