Beneficial bushcare study

Shoalhaven City Council Deputy Mayor, John Wells has welcomed the results of a recent study into the social and biodiversity benefits of the area’s Bushcare Program.

Council recently sponsored University of Wollongong honours student, Caitlyn Rankin to determine whether Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) is an effective means of building social capacity to improve biodiversity in the Shoalhaven.

Deputy Mayor, Wells said the project offered Council an opportunity to gain a measure of the social and biodiversity benefits of its Bushcare Program and was very pleased to see that the study found that the majority of the organisation’s goals were already being met.

“Council has 66 Bushcare Groups consisting of over 630 volunteers working for the betterment and restoration of the local environment within Shoalhaven City.
“The recent study has allowed Council to gain valuable insights into the benefits of Bushcare and identify areas in which the organisation can continue to improve.

“While providing valuable feedback on the volunteers experience of participating, the study also looked at the participants’ perceptions and understanding of biodiversity and how this understanding may have changed as a result of being involved in the program.”

The study also provided a number of recommendations to refine the program and improve volunteer recruitment and satisfaction.

Cr Wells said the study would be used to ensure the area’s Bushcare volunteers continue to be supported and valued for the knowledge, experience and environmental improvements they bring to the program.

The full study can be viewed on Council’s Bushcare page at www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au