Nature needs a movement of nature lovers, from all walks of life, protecting and restoring our bush, waterways and green spaces, and pushing government and business to do the same.
Restoring nature restores us. Protecting nature protects us. We need nature. And nature needs a mainstream movement to protect the big Aussie backyard that we all share.
ACF Community groups run nature outreach activities to grow the movement that connect, protect and restore our big backyard, bringing in new people and strengthening people power in their communities. Here's how.
Volunteers are restoring Westgate Biodiversity Park. Photo: Cathy Ronalds
What is a nature outreach project?
A nature outreach project is made up of a variety of ongoing nature activities that connect, protect and restore nature, bringing in new people and starting them on a journey to advocacy 🌱 For example, a group might collaborate on a project with a local Friends Of group that rehabilitates a local reserve. The group might run monthly nature activities, for example tree plantings, weeding days, nature walks and BioBlitzes.
To run a nature outreach project that successfully brings in new nature lovers and takes them on a journey to advocacy, start by:
- Understanding what ingredients make a nature outreach project successful
Brainstorm ideas and run them through a strategy screen to select the best one/s
Use this planning sheet to create a project that ticks all the boxes
- Ask all of your activity participants to complete this short, 7-question Nature perspectives survey
Volunteers wait quietly on the bank, looking for platypus as part of the platy-project. Photo: Cathy Ronalds.
Here are some resources to help you develop and run nature activities as part of a successful nature outreach project.
Reaching new people - how do we reach people who have never before participated in the group? Focus your energy outwards - make connections with new networks in your community, flyer or poster your local area, and share your events online in location-based community places like council websites or community Facebook groups
- Print and distribute flyers to your neighbours - download version one, two or three
Save Our Big Backyard flyer for you to download, print and distribute at nature outreach events!
Using canva - how to use and log in to ACF’s Canva, where there are nature outreach flyer and poster templates
Calendar of Environmental events - people are often looking for opportunities to participate in recognised environmental days, so we just need to provide them! Here are some of the most well-known days:
- March 6 - Clean Up Australia day
- April 22 - Earth day
- May 22 - International Day for Biological Diversity
- June 5 - World Environment Day
- July 31 - National Tree Day
- September 7 is National Threatened Species Day (September is Biodiversity Month!)
- October 4 - World Habitat Day and National Bird Week
- November - Pollinator Week
- If you would like help with designing, planning or running successful nature outreach projects that reach new people, you can seek support from your organiser, or put a request in (for support, resources or to share learnings) via the Community Helpdesk or emailing [email protected].
Tips for running ongoing activities
- Schedule regular activities in advance to give yourselves time to promote and coordinate
- Use predictable schedules - for example, the third Sunday of every month at 10am
- Keep the basic ingredients the same to make coordination easier