5 ways to volunteer in nature around Adelaide

From planting trees to monitoring dolphins, there’s lots you can do to care for the environment. Here’s some ideas.

Want to get your hands dirty for a good cause? The environment is calling your name.

From one-off events to a more regular commitment, there are plenty of opportunities for you to volunteer to care for the environment. 

If you live in or around Adelaide, here are some things you might like to try:

1. Help build a habitat

If you’re interested in helping improve the habitat of the endangered Mount Lofty Ranges southern emu wren, Swampfest on June 3 might be the thing for you. The event is being held in Stipiturus Conservation Park near Mount Compass, and involves planting endangered Mount Compass oak-bush seedlings, as well as other native plants. 

Later in June, you might like to take part in the annual Deep Creek Planting Day. You’ll be planting local native seedlings to help restore the habitat of a rare native bird, the beautiful firetail finch, which needs dense shrubs for nesting. This planting event is a bit further afield, in the iconic Deep Creek Conservation Park – which is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.


Volunteers at the Deep Creek Planting Day last year

2. Look after parks

If you want to volunteer on a more regular basis, consider joining a ‘Friends of Parks’ group. They hold regular working bees, dedicated to things like weed eradication, flora and fauna monitoring, planting, general maintenance, heritage restoration, and in some cases research and education.

To get a better idea of what it could entail, check out the Friends of Blackhill and Morialta’s working bee schedule, which shows ongoing projects at First Falls at Morialta Conservation Park and the Wildflower Garden at Black Hill Conservation Park.  

Live further north? You might like to join the Friends of Cobbler Creek group on a family-friendly Bushcare Blitz event once a month on weekends at the new Kites and Kestrels play space.

3. Become a community champion

Is the beach more up your alley? You might like to apply to become a Coastal Ambassador. This program is all about developing community champions who want to learn as much as they can about Adelaide’s coasts, and share this knowledge with the community. 

As part of the program, you’ll get to hear from experts and attend interactive field trips, such as snorkelling and kayaking, in order to get a real insight into Adelaide’s unique marine environments. This will leave you well-placed to help protect and conserve the coast, and advocate for the wider community to help too.

4. Monitor local wildlife

If wildlife is more your thing, consider volunteering with the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Action Group. They need volunteers to join their land-based patrols to monitor dolphins in the sanctuary and report things like injuries, entanglements, new calves and compliance issues. 

You could also step into the realm of citizen science by keeping a keen eye on the animals that roam in your area. Discovery Circle runs a number of projects including Goanna Watch and Cat Tracker, or there’s the Turtle SAT project, which all ask you to report sightings of these animals in your area. The information you provide will help researchers with conservation projects.

5. Help from home

You don’t have to venture far from your couch to volunteer. Trees for Life has a grower program that asks volunteers to grow seedlings in their own backyard, which end up being supplied to country landholders for revegetation works or to provide habitat for native birds and animals.

National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week this week, May 21 to May 27, the perfect time for us to say a huge thank you to everyone who gives their time to look after the environment and our special places in South Australia.

If you’re feeling inspired to lend a hand too, and would like a more detailed listing, check the Department for Environment and Water website. You’ll find great opportunities to volunteer in Adelaide, as well as in our natural resources regions across the state.

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