Landcare And Charity Groups Taking Action Following The Bushfires
After the devastating bushfires of summer 2019/20 that affected the majority of Australia, the community has come together to work on regeneration projects and volunteer for a variety of causes.
In fact, the crisis saw a major spark in volunteers in Toowoomba and rural Queensland. Let’s explore what some of these volunteer organisations are doing and how you can help.
North East Downs Landcare Group
For more than two-and-a-half decades, the North East Downs Landcare Group, or ‘NED’ as it’s known by locals, has managed all the various landcare groups throughout the north-eastern Darling Downs region. That’s more than 7,000 square kilometres of coverage and a team of 450 active members (and growing) in their network.
In addition to helping communities adapt to climate change, NED goes out to schools to educate them about their local environment and show them how to nurture and improve it. They also work with landholders and support them in embracing new technologies for a brighter environmental future.
How you can help: Based in Oakey, NED has a huge catchment of groups that manage everything from small farms grants to soil workshops, the creation of feral pig crates and beyond. You can contact the team via phone or email, or make a direct donation to the group on their website.
Toowoomba Landcare Group
Toowoomba Landcare is a group of highly active volunteers whose overarching goal is to “raise awareness on environmental issues and to promote practical action to the Toowoomba community to better our natural resources.”
Formed in 2000, the non-profit’s membership continues to grow in the wake of natural disasters that have affected the community, from the floods in 2011 through to the most recent bushfire season. Landcare members tackle all sorts of projects on their annual calendar, from on-site seminars about flood mitigation and erosion control, through to weed and plant identification and even entire days dedicated to planting trees in and around Toowoomba.
How you can help: You can support the Toowoomba Landcare Group by following their activities – and even joining them on their upcoming events – via their Facebook page.
Friends of the Escarpment Parks
Working directly with Toowoomba Regional Council’s Parks and Recreation Branch, the volunteer-led Friends of the Escarpment Parks is a community group focused on managing, maintaining and developing the public use of Toowoomba’s bushland escarpment parks.
Looking after a dozen local parks, including Picnic Point and Table Top, the group recently benefited from the Community Grant Program. Armed with new materials and equipment for bush regeneration, including herbicide, tools and PPE equipment, Friends of the Escarpment Parks has the people-power and resources to help regenerate Toowoomba’s natural parkland despite drought and bushfire activity.
How you can help: The group welcomes new members to its eco-friendly family for just $10 per year (individual or family memberships), and you can also make direct donations to its ongoing cause.
Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland
Most of Australia was affected by this summer’s bushfires, and once again we saw the bravery and selflessness of firefighters who put their lives on the line every day to protect our people and our homes. Volunteer firefighting organisations help protect regional areas like Toowoomba from the devastating effects of bushfire every year.
The Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) manages fire services from Cairns to the South Coast and everywhere in between, overseeing more than 1,400 rural brigades and a volunteer force exceeding 33,000 firies. The Darling Downs has its own RFBAQ headquarters, led by Gary Patzwald who has been fighting fires for nearly half a century.
How you can help: Like all volunteer firefighting units, the RFBAQ needs financial support as well as more volunteers. You can find out how to volunteer – whether it’s in a frontline firefighting role or an administrative, catering or community-education position – by visiting the group’s volunteering page.
Many charities and other support networks have been working hard behind the scenes to help families affected by drought and bushfire in our local area. These include:
- The Australian Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- St Vincent De Paul
- Rural Aid
- Drought Angels
- Aussie Helpers
- Lions Need for Feed
- Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
Enjoy Toowoomba’s surrounds in the perfect home
Toowoomba has some of the most magnificent flora and fauna at our doorstep, as well as a community of like-minded people who strive to protect it. Whether you’re moving to Toowoomba, downsizing or looking for your new dream home, contact an experienced local agent today.