20:20 Grants: Celebrating 20 years of Landcare

Supporting members via self-funded small grant program

20:20 Grants: Celebrating 20 years of Landcare

Supporting members via self-funded small grant program

Taking Action -

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The issue

In a time of critically reduced funding availability and increased competition, Landcare groups can struggle to meet the ongoing costs of their regular activities.  As government funding increasingly targets national priorities and large-scale projects it is sometimes difficult to cover basic costs, putting pressure on volunteer groups to contribute their own funds or reduce activity.

The solution

In October 2018, Richmond Landcare Inc (RLI) celebrated its 20th anniversary as an incorporated association.  Since its inception in 1998 RLI has been applying for grants and carefully saving pennies for a rainy day. Thanks to the dedicated volunteer efforts of many Landcarers over the years, we had amassed a fair nest egg. So, despite funding uncertainty for our own staff and activities, when the storm clouds gathered with the end of the National Landcare Program 1 the RLI committee agreed that it was time to break open the piggy bank to invest in the future of our network.

To celebrate this important milestone, RLI opened the 20:20 Grants program for its member groups. Offering a total of $20,000 from its own savings for 20 grants of up to $1000, the program aimed to boost the energy and motivation of the on-ground groups, while helping RLI to achieve its goals. Each of the 135 member groups was invited to apply for a grant for a specific program or project.  Applications were assessed by a panel against Richmond Landcare’s mission and vision statements.

The impact

There were 17 successful applications from local Landcare groups including Alstonville Maguires Creek Landcare, Bagot Park Landcare, Ballina Coastcare, Boatharbour Landcare, Bulwinkel Park Landcare, Bungawalbyn Landcare, Bush Fruits LGBTIQ Landcare, Clunes Landcare, Hollingworth Creek Landcare, Holy Family Landcare, Jiggi Catchment Landcare, Lennox Head Landcare, Monaltrie Landcare, Tregeagle Landcare, Tuckombil Landcare, Whian Whian Landcare and Wilsons Creek Huonbrook Landcare. Funding provided ranged from $589 to $1000 for projects included equipment, resource material, plants, nesting boxes, regeneration work, pest control and school projects.

The grant program was well received by local groups and provided a stimulus to some local Landcare activities. Bob Smith from Alstonville Maguires Creek Landcare said "the timing is perfect as we are full steam ahead to get our final 3 sites planted during the last week in March", with Clunes Landcare reporting "we’re very excited. Our group has been dormant for few years and we have great plans to kick it off again".

RLI is a non-profit Landcare network formed to support community Landcare groups and natural resource management and sustainable agriculture projects on the Far North Coast of NSW.

Key facts

  • Celebrating 20 years of Landcare in the Richmond Catchment by investing network savings in member groups
  • The 20:20 Grant member grant program saw $20,000 distributed to 17 on-ground groups
  • On-ground activity stimulated during a tough time for Landcare