Bendigo Bushland Ambassadors Project
Bendigo is often called the city in the forest, and is known for its beautiful Box-Ironbark forests, home to Brush-tailed Phascogales, woodland birds and spring wildflowers.
But Bendigo is growing. The region's 2011 population will double, with another 100,000 people expected to call it home in the next 30 years.
With this increased growth will come greater pressure on the remaining patches of native vegetation in and around Bendigo, particularly on private land.
However, a growing and changing population also brings opportunities for engaging and involving local residents in conserving local bushland, enhancing and encouraging revegetation of cleared areas, and creating habitat for local plants and wildlife.
Our Bendigo Bushland Ambassadors Project, supported by the Ian Potter Foundation and the Melliodora Fund, aims to support local conservation groups and their efforts to engage with the community on the importance of local bushland.
The project aims to inspire local residents to take an interest in their local bushland, and in maintaining and caring for these areas. It will also build on and assist in supporting existing community initiatives, as well as implementing a series of projects to encourage locals to care for important local places.
Two key areas of focus have been the Bushland Stories project and the development of a 'Living Next to Nature' brochure.
Living Next to Nature
The Living Next to Nature booklet, the second key project, was delivered by project officer Leah Cripps.
Once published the booklet's aim will be to introduce ways in which local residents can minimise their impact on Bendigo's bushland.
It will also list Bendigo groups and businesses already caring for local bushland and explains how residents can get involved.
Leah worked closely with the City of Greater Bendigo and other key land managers and community groups to ensure the content is relevant and appropriate for its audience.
The Bendigo Bushland Ambassadors Project has been delivered with support from a steering committee comprised of local environment and community groups as well as the City of Greater Bendigo.
The Bushland Stories series was largely delivered by RMIT student Marcel van Regeneren Altena, who sought out people with interesting stories to tell about Bendigo's local bushland.
Marcel interviewed each storyteller, and used their stories to produce seven short films and twelve 'story posters'.
Bob Dean is a former forestry foreman who used to ride his pushbike 25 miles to work in the Kamarooka Forest, near Bendigo. His story is part of our 'Bushland Stories' series.
Nicole is a hard-working, inspirational advocate for the environment. She is involved in many different programs and committees, with a particular interest in integrating nature-based activities into early childhood education. She reflects on her upbringing in the Bendigo bushland near Huntley.
Andrew Cameron is a member of the Bendigo Orienteers. From his early days the bush has been an important part of his life, spending time there with his dad and grandfather. He reckons every kid should have the opportunity to make that part of their lives.
Annabelle and Bree are currently second year students studying Outdoor Education at La Trobe University in Bendigo. Annabelle moved here for her studies, while Bree has always lived in the region with her father.
If you'd like to know more about the project, or have an idea or piece of information to contribute to it, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org