Bushfire Resilient Gardens

Bushfire recovery and hazard reduction in the garden for community resilience

Bushfire Resilient Gardens

Bushfire recovery and hazard reduction in the garden for community resilience

Collaborations -

LEP 026 003-01

The issue

A total of 2,371 square kilometres, representing 23.6% of the MidCoast Council Local Government Area (LGA), was burnt in the Black Summer bushfires. Twenty-seven communities were impacted, 125 homes were destroyed, and 62 homes were damaged. Agencies working closely with these affected communities reported that many in MidCoast, while not necessarily losing their homes, suffered extensive damage to their gardens.

The solution

MidCoast Growers Network, under the auspices of Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare, successfully applied to the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery program for funding support to roll out a regional program to support fire-affected landholders to redesign and rebuild their gardens, while sharing with the wider community through workshops including hands-on working bees, online resources and a video production. KGL Landcare engaged a Project Officer and a Communications officer part time for the period of the project, and landscaping and gardening design consultants provided garden redesign for selected fire affected properties.

The impact

Owners of 15 bushfire-damaged gardens have been included as study participants and each has received guidance regarding future designing of their gardens. In addition, three of these properties were included as ‘learning-by-doing’ field day experiences, during which an aspect of the planned garden was addressed through on-ground work.

Improved confidence, quality of life, and mental and physical health for MidCoast gardeners affected by the Black Summer bushfires

Connected, informed growers

Stronger community connections and more informed growers

With a strong focus on dissemination, the production of video-documented garden redesigns, workshops, virtual garden tours, and online resources is designed to help MidCoast residents recently affected by bushfires, while also leaving a long-term legacy for all bushfire-prone communities in the MidCoast LGA and beyond.

Learnings

This project has been a great example of a true community-run effort, driven by KGL Landcare members all the way - as Local Landcare Coordinator, my contribution was very minor.

Congratulations to all those involved, with special mention of KGLL members - Stef Garland driving project inception and successful grant application, Ron Woods doing research and communications, Jack Thieme managing the project, videography by Andrew Yeo, and strong, dependable admin and reporting support from KGLL President Dale Bradshaw and MidCoast Growers' Network Convenor Brett Cooper.

Key facts

  • 4 workshops with 99 attendees
  • 15 bushfire-affected gardens redesigned
  • 8 online factsheets plus literature review, plant list and readings
  • 670 video views so far on Facebook and Youtube