How you can make a difference by volunteering in SA’s national parks and reserves

How you can make a difference by volunteering in SA’s national parks and reserves

Keen to vol­un­teer in a nation­al park? Learn what Friends of Parks groups do and how a new grant pro­gram is helping.

Did you know that each week thou­sands of hours are spent by vol­un­teers across the state work­ing in South Australia’s nation­al parks and reserves?

Friends of Parks vol­un­teers are pas­sion­ate about the envi­ron­ment, and are inte­gral in car­ry­ing out con­ser­va­tion and bio­di­ver­si­ty man­age­ment, as well as Abo­rig­i­nal and Euro­pean her­itage site pro­tec­tion activ­i­ties, sup­port­ing region­al Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice staff.

They do all sorts of activ­i­ties, rang­ing from weed con­trol and habi­tat restora­tion, to ani­mal sur­veys and threat­ened species rein­tro­duc­tion. Oth­er projects include her­itage restora­tion work and cul­tur­al site protection.

Friends of Parks South Aus­tralia has been a very active and ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teer organ­i­sa­tion for more than 30 years, with 135 vol­un­teer groups spread across South Aus­tralia, who work in part­ner­ship with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and landown­ers across the landscape.

And they are keen for new mem­bers to join, with plen­ty of options for you to choose from, with a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent groups avail­able. Vis­it the Friends of Parks web­site to find a group that suits you.

Fund­ing more opportunities

Recent­ly the work of these vol­un­teer groups has been boost­ed thanks to a new $750,000 grants pro­gram being deliv­ered by the South Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment in part­ner­ship with the Friends of Parks Inc. Board.

The pro­gram has two fund­ing streams, a Small Grants Pro­gram, which is now closed but has pro­vid­ed grants of up to $5000, and a Part­ner­ship Grants Pro­gram, which pro­vides grants of up to $25,000, to deliv­er prac­ti­cal on-ground con­ser­va­tion works.

The fund­ing goes towards activ­i­ties such as pest plant and ani­mal con­trol, reveg­e­ta­tion, habi­tat restora­tion, site main­te­nance and wildlife mon­i­tor­ing and sur­vey work.

Works can be car­ried out across coastal sys­tems, inland water­ways and wet­lands, and may include Euro­pean or Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage site main­te­nance, pro­tec­tion or restoration.

The grants help to sup­port the great work that Friends of Parks groups do in nation­al parks across the state.

Who is eli­gi­ble for the Part­ner­ship Grants Program?

The larg­er Part­ner­ship Grants Pro­gram are still avail­able, and to be eli­gi­ble, Friends of Parks groups will need to part­ner with anoth­er group or organ­i­sa­tion to deliv­er larg­er scale or more com­plex projects.

Part­ners could include envi­ron­men­tal organ­i­sa­tions, coun­cils, local com­mu­ni­ty groups or aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions that may be engaged to sup­port project deliv­ery, or pro­vide tech­ni­cal exper­tise or spe­cialised equip­ment to assist the Friends of Parks group to deliv­er their project.

Appli­ca­tions for the Part­ner­ship Grants Pro­gram close on 31 October.

These grants are fund­ed by the Depart­ment for Envi­ron­ment and Water’s NPWS and the Land­scape Pri­or­i­ties Fund, the pro­gram will be deliv­ered in part­ner­ship with the Friends of Parks Inc. Board. To find out more vis­it theDEW web­site.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living