BASS Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) didn’t let COVID-19 restrictions stop them from celebrating Landcare Week (August 3-9) this year, launching a social media campaign to highlight the wonders of the local environment and the work of its many dedicated volunteers, in lieu of any physical gatherings.
From tree planting and weed eradication to school education programs, the wide variety of local Landcare activities was showcased through a series of posts on the network’s official Facebook page throughout the week, with community members encouraged to get involved through other online channels such as the Junior Landcare Community, free-to-stream documentaries, and webinars.
BCLN has postponed all in-person meetings, events or gatherings until further notice, following the Victorian government’s declaration of a State of Emergency to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The latest update from BCLN executive general manager David Bateman advised that although the organisation’s physical office in Bass has been closed to the public, BCLN continues to operate with staff working remotely, and meetings being held via phone and video conferencing.
The on-ground works crew remains engaged with outside work, with an increased emphasis on social distancing, and personal and static hygiene.
“We are working on ways to help our Landcare groups, members and volunteers interact with each other safely during this time and participate in online activities,” he said.
BCLN comprises Landcare groups from Phillip Island, French Island, Bass Valley, Three Creeks, Kongwak Hills, Powlett River, Korumburra, Anderson Inlet and Wonthaggi, as well as 60 per cent of the 1400 rural properties in the area.
The network plants on average over 200,000 Indigenous plants a year, with volunteers contributing more than 22,000 hours of their time to planting and other Landcare activities last year.
“Due to COVID 19 restrictions, we have not been able to contribute as many hours this year, however, our volunteers continue to do great work,” David said last week, also sending a big thank you and “Happy Landcare Week!” to the Bass Coast Landcare Board “and all Landcare members that make a difference both in our local community and the world”.
To find out more about BCLN’s wide range of programs including sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, pest plant and animal control, and the River Garden demonstration site at Bass, visit basscoastlandcare.org.au.
You can also sign up to BCLN’s Enews, to get updates including online events sent to your inbox every month.