Araluen Creek Restoration Project - Community Engagement

In the early months of the project, Upper Deua Catchment Landcare reached out to the Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council - the umbrella group which offers support to Landcare groups across the district - seeking support to deliver some of the community engagement aspects of the project.

The aim was to take the experience and learnings of the project beyond Araluen Valley to the broader district. The work plan included:

  • a community educational workshop series
  • re-vegetation advice including assisting with a community
  • planting days and planting list
  • general publicity
  • a video of the  project, and
  • display boards.

This work was complementary to the community liaison role undertaken by the UDCLG Project Community Liaison, Cath Harrison. And these activities were undertaken in active partnership and liaison with the Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group. A key guiding principle to use specialist knowledge and expertise to ensure local activities were based on best practise and a solid evidence base, combined with local knowledge.

Initial work on planning the work was undertaken by Bec Klomp, USLC Co-ordinator, In November 2021USLC contracted - Clare Henderson, as a project officer to specifically work on the project. In addition, Erin Brinkley USLC Coordinator, while Bec was on materity leave, played a very active role in the project, as did the two USLC chairs, Jane Ambrose and Larry O’Loughlin.

Six educational workshops were conducted for the Araluen and broader community:

  • 25 February 2023– Apical Weeds Workshop#2 – 25 attended.
  • 3 September 2022 – Seed Collection and Propagation Workshop – 17 attended.
  • 27 August 2022– Riparian Workshop – 25 attended.
  • 25 June 2022– Apical Weeds Workshop – 25 attended.
  • 28 May 2022– Soil Erosion Workshop – 15 attended.
  • 26 February 2022– Geology of Araluen Workshop – 30 attended.

USLC provided revegetation support and advice, including suitable species lists, site selection, design, site preparation and planting techniques. Three community planting days were conducted on private properties where major erosion control measures had been put in place:

  • Tuesday 30 May 2023 – Home-schooling day, approx. 21 people attended. 150 plants in the ground.
  • Saturday 27 May 2023 – Community Planting Day, approx. 15 people attended. 400 plants in the ground.
  • Sunday 2 April 2023– Community Planting Day, approx. 30 people attended. 400 plants in the ground.

The planting list was prepared and refined in consultation with Lyn Ellis, a local native plant nursery expert.

Information Sheets
Eight information sheets were prepared, circulated to workshop participants, and advertised in various social media, community newsletters and regional media.

  1. Weed management: a key part of the Araluen Creek Restoration Project
  2. Tips for managing madeira vine
  3. Tips for managing blackberry
  4. Tips for managing privet
  5. Tips for managing boxthorn
  6. Native seed soil planting mix guide
  7. Araluen Native Planting list
  8. Tips for propagating native tubestock - soon to come

General Publicity
After each workshop, at significant milestones, and general events summary articles were produced for community and regional media. Over 50 articles were publicised through-out the region. A complied version of some of the articles is here. In addition, USLC prepared a general powerpoint overview for the project. It was first used at the South-East Region Landcare Muster in April 2023.

As part of its contract with UDCLG, the USLC contracted award-winning local filmmaker Clare Young to capture the story, expertise and learnings of the project. The video, in providing visual depiction of the damage and rehabilitation strategies in the Araluen Valley, raises awareness for local and surrounding communities about disaster recovery processes.


Left: Clare Young interviewing Soil Conservation Service's Lyall Boggie with Upper Shoalhaven Landcare's project officer Clare Henderson.

Centre:The local Braidwood Home Schoolers helped with a planting day at Araluen in May 2023. This is River Parsons learning about the importance of tree guards and how to install them, with Clare Young capturing the moment. Photo: Judy Knowles.

Right: Clare Young filming Araluen landholder Les Mundy with Sally Mathews observing in February 2022 after the first project workshop at the Araluen Federal Hall on the “Geology of the Araluen Valley” presented by Leah Moore, Australian National University. Photo: Clare Henderson

Display Boards
Another aspect of Clare Hendeson’s work was developing a series of informative display
boards. Different boards focused on topics like the geology of the area, Landcare history and projects. These sign boards were designed to install at communal sites along the creek -  where the public could stop, view and learn about the Araluen Valley and the creek restoration efforts.

Upper Deua Catchment and Upper Shoalhaven Landcare representatives alongside workshop participants in May 2022. Photo: C Harrison


The Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group would like to thank Clare and the USLC team for for their great efforts and dedication to the Araluen Creek Restoration Project.

 This is a Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund project through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement