Grassroots funding for environmental gains

News article |

Do you have a project focused on protecting our uniquely biodiverse and productive landscapes or building our community’s connection to the environment?

The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants program will be open from March 5 to April 17, making available $250,000 to eligible projects across two funding tiers: less than $4,000 and up to $20,000. Whether you're working independently or as part of a group, if you're making a positive impact on our land, water, and nature, this could be your opportunity to secure essential funding – there may never be a more crucial time.

The United Nations has announced that we are currently in a ‘Decade of Restoration,’ a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems, for the benefit of people and nature. To achieve this transformation, all of our local actions count, whether it is restoring native vegetation in your community, managing farms or bushland sustainably, or protecting habitats and waterholes. Fortunately with a strong community of regional advocates and champions, we punch above our weight with on-ground outcomes, but there is more work ahead of us.

Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board Chair David Greenhough encourages those with suitable projects and ideas to apply.

"One of our, roles as a regional landscape board, is to allocate critical funds to support ’grassroots’ environmental action. These funds help many volunteers, community organisations and land stewards to protect biodiversity, improve the health of soils, and create more climate-resilient landscapes across the region.

“Over the past four rounds, we've seen brilliant collaborations between groups and neighbouring landholders, and projects revitalising our environment through revegetation, habitat restoration and capacity building. We have also supported the adoption and promotion of regenerative agriculture principles that benefit our region and beyond. The grants have supported initiatives that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Country through the knowledge and experience of First Nations people,” he said.

Funding will be awarded on merit to projects that are within the Hills and Fleurieu region, demonstrate the best value for money, and deliver outcomes that address the priorities in the regional landscape plan.

Ready to take the next step? Visit our Grassroots Grants webpage for more information, including past project examples, FAQs, guidelines, and application details.

In a separate initiative, funding of up to $500 is already available to schools and community environmental groups, supporting them with small practical costs (such as personal protective equipment and minor tools), through the GreenSafe Grants program.

Some highlights of 2023 projects

Yundi Nature Conservancy has used a Grassroots Grant to form a Fleurieu Swamp Restoration Network, bringing together 19 landholders spanning 150 ha of swamps. The group get together to learn from each other’s experiences and improve understanding of the ecological and Ngarrindjeri values of the swamps. Early botanical surveys the group have undertaken with South Australian Seed Conservation Centre have already identified rare, vulnerable and endangered plants, showing that even swamp areas that seem degraded can have important plants and are very much worth conserving.

Grassroots funding for environmental gains

The Cape Jervis Coastal Community Group has used a Grassroots Grant to continue succession planning through capacity building of volunteers. A key focus has been on upskilling in biodiverse revegetation and weed control techniques to secure the long-term future of the special biodiversity at Cape Jervis.

The Unitarian Church of SA used a Grassroots Grant to equip their Shady Grove Buschcare Team of volunteers with tools and equipment to undertake bushcare at Shady Grove, near Mount Barker. Shady Grove is a special place, a special pocket of stringybark and home to native orchids, many birds and plants, and a historic cemetery and church. The team have painstakingly been removing weeds to care for the native vegetation and give the delicate native orchids and wildflowers a chance to thrive.

Ecosystem and Biological Services is using a Grassroots Grant to undertake DNA testing and biodiversity monitoring to identify Stygofauna, surface aquatic fauna and terrestrial fauna in the immediate vicinity of five springs in the Hills and Fleurieu region.

Kanmantoo Callington Landcare Group used a Grassroots Grant to continue the ‘Greening the Bremer’ project. This involved fencing part of the Bremer River on private properties across multiple sites, with revegetation along the river undertaken by volunteers and land managers.

Grassroots funding for environmental gains

Mount Compass Area School used a Grassroots Grant to expand habitat and interpretive signage for an important population of the nationally endangered southern emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus intermedius) at the threatened Mount Compass Swamp adjoining the school.

Grassroots funding for environmental gains

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