gardens for wildlife
about the program
Inspired by the highly successful Tasmanian Gardens for Wildlife program, Gardens for Wildlife was born out of an increasing interest of people wishing to join the Land for Wildlife scheme but who did not qualify due to their property size being under 1 ha.
On the Sunshine Coast, a huge proportion of conservation efforts across the region is focused on larger parcels of public and private land. And with good reason. High quality, intact and well-connected landscapes are vital for the future survival of many Australian native species, the quality of our soil and water, and the resilience of our communities.
But for many people accessing conservation activities can be a challenge. Not everyone can afford a property to look after, aging demographics face barriers such as physical ability, and time poor generations are limited in how much they can dedicate to getting involved in local efforts, so the care of our environment seems to be squeezed into the responsibility of a limited few. But this is exactly why our Gardens for Wildlife program can be just the thing to create a pathway for you to look after nature from the comfort of your own home garden or even your tiny urban balcony! Every property matters, and every generation can get involved.
Growing local native plants around your home can be incredibly beneficial in supporting our local environment. Choosing local native plants over exotic species can help reduce the risk of exotic plants becoming weeds that escape into the bush and degrade habitat. Native gardens can support many local animals with food, water and shelter, and the increased ability to move through the landscape keeping them safe from feral predators, domestic animals and the impact of traffic. Native ground covers and grasses help provide sanctuary for reptiles, insects and frogs, and create a wonderful place for curious nature-lovers to interact with the natural world.
how you can make a difference
The ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ program encourages and recognises wildlife-friendly gardens and environmentally-friendly practices in urban as well as rural-residential gardens.
Your garden for wildlife can contribute to bringing nature home by welcoming wildlife to share your garden and by providing a healthy, weed free environment for them to do so.
Providing more native plants and other habitat in the garden is not only valuable in itself, it can also link to habitat nearby, providing safe corridors or ‘stepping stones‘ along which animals can move from place to place.
By creating or providing a garden that is wildlife-friendly and environmentally-friendly you will:
- Help to conserve local plants and animals
- Help provide important refuge for native wildlife through times of drought or extreme events
- Have time to enjoy your garden more by reducing maintenance time and costs
- Reduce excess water through wise water use, such as mulching and use of local native plant species which are adapted to local conditions
- Benefit from natural pest control by having a diversity of native birds and insects in your garden (no need for chemicals)
- Benefit from increased pollination and fruit / flower set leading to better production
- Have a lower impact on surrounding environments by ensuring what you do on your land does not have an adverse impact beyond your backyard
By becoming a ‘Gardens for Wildlife’ member and displaying your sign, you clearly demonstrate your support and commitment to protecting wildlife species and habitat – this is inspiring and encouraging for the broader community to see.
who is this program for?
The Gardens for Wildlife program caters particularly to people who have less than 1ha of native vegetation and so don’t qualify for Land for Wildlife assistance, but also invites anyone who is interested in creating a native wildlife-friendly garden whether it be in their backyard or on an urban balcony! Every property matters.
As part of your annual Barung Landcare membership, you have the option of joining Gardens for Wildlife if you would like to participate in making your property (no matter how small or large) wildlife-friendly.
WHEN YOU JOIN, YOU WILL RECEIVE
- An attractive gate sign (for first time members)
- A welcome pack including a set of informative notes and useful materials (for first time members)
- 2 free native plants from the Barung Native Plant Nursery suited to your native garden
- Access to a range of free or discounted workshops and events
- Ongoing access to online resources and fact sheets
- Access to a free online community of fellow Gardens for Wildlife members to seek inspiration, learn from, and share your journey with
- A seasonal Gardens for Wildlife newsletter
Proudly supported by Sunshine Coast Council’s grants program