Dear Landcarers and friends of Landcare,
This is an uncertain and tough time for all of us. Everyone throughout our communities is now feeling the impact of Covid-19, and we’re told that the challenges of this virus means we need to think and act differently.
In response to advice from government and health experts, Landcare Australia is implementing arrangements to minimise the exposure of our people and stakeholders to the virus while ensuring continuation of our core activities to support Landcare and Coastcare groups, and Junior Landcarers as well as undertaking fieldwork. This has resulted in some minor disruptions to our business. We are working with our partners to implement contingency measures for current and planned projects.
Like many of our partners, our office-based staff have been working from home since Monday 16 March, postponing travel and using digital meeting channels. We have also postponed upcoming events such as the Landcare Youth Summit and all new Corporate Environmental Volunteering events until the uncertainty created by Covid-19 recedes. The situation is rapidly evolving, and we don’t know how long these changes will be in place. We apologise for any inconvenience, but feel that this is the right decision under the current circumstances.
We anticipate that there may be some disruption for projects funded through Landcare Australia. We will continue to work with Landcare and other community groups, and Junior Landcare grant recipients who may require support with changes for how and when they complete projects. If you have any questions about your project with Landcare Australia, please contact our grants team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Participation in community events, peer to peer learning and hands-on involvement in projects are among the most highly valued elements of Landcare. Balancing community participation and safe social distancing can present immediate challenges for many Landcarers. For upcoming Landcare community events and meetings, please consult the Australian Government and relevant State Government advice before deciding on a course of action.
Many Landcare organisations are also providing some advice in this regard, including the National Landcare Network, some of the Landcare State and Territory organisations and Intrepid Landcare, the Landcare youth network. The Landcare community can also stay connected through the Landcarer digital platform.
Landcare Australia will continue our core business of supporting Landcare groups, particularly those groups and their communities recovering from the catastrophic impact of the recent bushfires. We are working hard to establish funding opportunities for Landcare community groups that will help support recovery efforts in their local area as conditions and government direction allow. In addition to our recent Landcare Bushfire Recovery Grants, we anticipate the announcement of substantial grants funding with a new partner very shortly. Please continue to monitor our communications for the opportunity to apply for the upcoming grants programs.
In difficult times like this we know that connection with our natural areas provides a welcome source of encouragement. We also know that Landcarers are committed to improving and protecting the environmental quality of their local patch. Despite the requirement for social distancing and uncertainty about how things unfold in the near future, we are sure that Landcarers will remain active in their own way. For example, there are not many Landcarers who can easily walk past a weed without pulling it.
For those of you contemplating more time with family at home, there are great resources for kids in the Junior Landcare Learning Centre. You will find simple how-to guidelines for activities and projects that engage young people and build awareness of the importance of biodiversity and natural habitat protection, indigenous perspectives, waste management and the source of our food.
You can also encourage kids to participate in the Junior Landcare ‘Whats in your backyard?’ campaign. Kids can look for interesting examples of native habitat and species in their local area, and submit a photo to Costa as part of the competition.
We all could do with a smile, so please head to the website and have a look at some of the brilliant photos already submitted by kids.