New $750,000 Friends of Parks grants program launches
Conservation work across South Australia’s national parks and reserves will get a $750,000 boost with a new grants program to be delivered by the South Australian Government in partnership with the Friends of Parks (FoP) South Australia Board.
The program has two funding streams, a FoP Small Grants Program, which will provide grants of up to $5,000 and a FoP Partnership Grants Program which provides grants of up to $25,000 to deliver practical on the ground conservation works.
The funding will go towards activities such as pest plant and animal control, revegetation, habitat restoration, site maintenance and wildlife monitoring and survey work. Works can be carried out across coastal systems, inland waterways and wetlands, and may include European or Aboriginal heritage site maintenance, protection or restoration.
The grants will help to support the great work that FoP groups do in national parks across the state.
FoP have been a very active and dedicated volunteer organisation for more than 30 years, there are now 135 FoP groups across South Australia, who are increasingly working in partnership with community and landowners across the landscape. Each year they spend thousands of hours carrying out conservation and biodiversity management in support of regional National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff.
Friends of Parks Board President Duncan MacKenzie said the grants program is a fantastic new initiative.
“Having access to a grants opportunity of this size is something we’re very grateful for. It will help to ensure Friends of Parks groups can continue to roll out the many different activities we undertake in national parks for the protection and enhancement of South Australia’s natural and cultural heritage,” Mr MacKenzie said.
The FoP organisation was established more than 30 years ago and currently has 135 member groups statewide (both full and affiliates), who collectively contribute many thousands of hours of volunteer work. Mr MacKenzie said across the FoP network there were about 3000 members, and they were keen to encourage more people to join.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to give back to the environment and help with conservation efforts in our most valuable landscapes,” Mr MacKenzie said.
Funded by the Department for Environment and Water’s NPWS and the Landscape Priorities Fund, the program will be delivered in partnership with the FoP South Australia Board.
The Small Grants Program is available to FoP member and affiliated groups, for both on-park and off park projects and activities, as well as the purchase of small group assets, operating equipment, skills development opportunities or personal protective equipment.
As part of the larger Partnership Grants Program, FoP groups will need to partner with another group or organisation to deliver larger scale or more complex projects. Partners could include environmental organisations, councils, local community groups or academic institutions who may be engaged to support project delivery, or provide technical expertise or specialised equipment to assist a FoP group to deliver their project.
Grant applications for the Small Grants Program are now open, with applications for the Partnership Grants due to open in the coming weeks.
Members of the community interested in volunteering can find out more information at www.friendsofparkssa.org.au
To find out more visit www.environment.sa.gov.au/grants