Inspiring Engagement

Remote local Landcare: Inspiring membership and community engagement through events

Inspiring Engagement

Remote local Landcare: Inspiring membership and community engagement through events

Community Participation -


The issue

Broken Hill is a remote city in NSW with a population of about 17,600 people situated 1142kms from Sydney and 517kms from Adelaide, SA. Best known as the birth-place of mining giant BHP (Broken Hill Propriety), evidence suggests the “Silver City” is experiencing an aging-out of community-minded volunteers across its various organisations, including Landcare.

In January 2023, Landcare Broken Hill (LBH) purchased a 145-acre property on the edge of town containing two man-made lakes that once served as the city’s water supply, then an emergency water supply for mines, and later a popular recreational space to swim, sail and socialise. Today, the site is undergoing yet another transformation into the Imperial Lakes Nature Park and Sustainability Hub – a massive project requiring a largely volunteer workforce.

The solution

Generating a positive public perception of a project is crucial to attracting interest and a volunteer workforce for any local Landcare group. Genuine positivity in person, on social media and in newsletters is contagious, often satisfying innate social instincts to connect with others around a common interest - in this case, the development of an arid zone nature park.

Without a doubt, events drive memberships so LBH holds weekly events (weather permitting) that are designed to encourage engagement in the bigger picture project. Volunteers are grateful for being included and granted access to help develop this ground-breaking sustainable sanctuary that is bound to benefit future generations of residents, visitors and wildlife.

The impact

Hosting fun community events at the Imperial Lakes Nature Park is proving to be a winning formula for attracting more Landcare members and volunteers. In three months, we've seen LBH membership and volunteer numbers increase.

According to LBH’s Treasurer, an average of four memberships a month has risen to 20 new memberships (excluding membership renewals) in the last six weeks. Active volunteer numbers have increased with younger people also joining.


Visitors to the Imperial Lakes Nature Park not only see the site; many locals recall childhood memories and experience the feelings connected to this once popular community gathering space, while others simply bask in the natural beauty of this desert oasis. This project's long term impact on our remote community’s holistic health and wellbeing is certainly a space worth watching.

Key facts

  • A friendly, welcoming culture attracts more members and volunteers.
  • FUN events increase membership and voluntary participation in projects.
  • New members and volunteers help to raise motivation levels in existing dedicated volunteers.
  • A large Saltbush Maze is progressing quicker than anyone anticipated.

Project Partners