Reinvigorating Landcare Groups

Think tanks provide clear direction for, and encourage reinvigoration of, three Landcare groups

Reaching Out -

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Reinvigorating Landcare Groups

Think tanks provide clear direction for, and encourage reinvigoration of, three Landcare groups

The issue

It is well supported by research that Landcare groups are vehicles for positive landscape-scale change. However, after years with little or no support and access to funding, Landcare groups have experienced a progressive decline in membership numbers, with the Tarcutta Landcare group at risk of folding and the Eastern Riverina and Junee Area networks forced into dormancy.  The 'health' of Landcare in 2006, as reported on in the Redefining Landcare report, was far from robust. The report identified "internal problems," including lack of strategic planning, lack of focus, declining membership, poor succession planning, poor communication infrastructure and natural resource management fatigue (in the context of ongoing drought). These issues remain today.

The solution

To reinvigorate active and resilient Landcare groups that can be responsive to the shared issues of its members, Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. facilitated targeted strategic planning sessions with the Tarcutta Valley Landcare Group, Eastern Riverina Landcare and Junee Area Landcare Network.

The impact

“Think tanks” both applauded the community's Landcare achievements to date, and provided a plan for future on-ground works. The three events facilitated farmers and townspeople talking to one another about shared issues and developing solutions collaboratively with agency experts and other producers. Topics broadly covered pest management, weed management, habitat conservation on farms and alternative land management options. The intention will be to turn these shared issues into interesting on-ground works that spark community enthusiasm and encourage broad community participation.

Learnings

Clear facilitation of conversations is essential to ensure meaningful and even input of all participants in the room. Ultimately, to achieve grassroots landscape restoration, we have to connect people before we can connect landscapes.

Images

 

Key facts

  • 31 attendees over three events.
  • More than 50 ideas for key projects or workshops generated
  • A clear direction and purpose for the groups

Project Partners