Screen time CAN be good for your health!

Using outdoor movie nights to bring the community together in our beautiful local parks and reserves

Screen time CAN be good for your health!

Using outdoor movie nights to bring the community together in our beautiful local parks and reserves

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

Urban Landcare groups have a great advantage in that they typically cover a large population base, but this can sometimes be difficult to translate to levels of engagement. With so many competing groups in the urban space, it is hard to get people’s attention and let them know that your group even exists, let alone inspiring people to get involved.

Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare has long had a strong core group of dedicated volunteers, but we were keen to increase our exposure to the wider community.

The solution

Three years ago, Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare decided that we needed an activity to raise our profile. What resulted was our first ever “Movies Under the Stars” event, held in the summer of 2017. We have now held our third annual outdoor movie night series, with the community response continuing to increase each year.

We chose to hold outdoor films as we thought it would be a great way to encourage people who may not normally visit our local parks and reserves to get outside and appreciate the amazing natural areas we have to offer. We hope that by introducing people to these great local sites, they will continue to make use of them throughout the year.

We have been able to deliver these activities due to Wagga Wagga City Council’s Annual Grants, which cover the movie and screening fees. The local Forum Cinemas provided a commercial popcorn machine and all associated materials free of charge, allowing us to generate a small profit for our group and, importantly, create the real cinema feel!

The impact

At the commencement of each movie night, we talk briefly to the crowd about our group and what we do, and encourage people to get involved. We then play a short film with a strong environmental theme, often a local film or an entertaining short film from the Australian Shorts section of the Environmental Film Festival Australia.

We hold a Landcare stall at each event, where we sell popcorn, snacks and drinks as a fundraiser, and also provide information on our group to encourage people who are interested to get involved.

The exposure our group has received through these events, and the accompanying media response (both traditional and social) has been incredible. While it is difficult to link this exposure to increased involvement in our other activities, we believe that the movie nights have been a great way to promote our group – and they have certainly provided highly enjoyable events for our members to be involved in too!

Key facts

  • Number of attendees = 600
  • Number of WWUL volunteers = 15
  • Number of boxes of popcorn sold = over 100 (we lost count!)

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