Happy International Volunteers Day!

If you are one of the 134,000+ Victorians already volunteering for nature, you’ll know how good it feels to be part of a volunteer group that’s really making a difference for our environment. Thank you for the incredible work you do!

If you want to help protect nature, enjoy the satisfaction volunteering for the environment brings and meet new people – here are 5 ways to do just that.

1. Check out our new interactive volunteering for nature map. It’s as easy as 1. Zoom 2. Click 3. Connect – and you’ll see environmental volunteering opportunities near you.

And, if you’re from a volunteering organisation and want to add or update your details on this interactive map, just get in touch with us.

2. Become a citizen scientist. Grab your smart phone and join the movement. For many projects that’s all you need to get started as a volunteer scientist. You will really be making a difference for our wildlife and environment.

You can also use our VBA Go mobile tool whenever you’re out in nature to share information about the native species you see and hear. Using VBA Go, you will be feeding your observations into the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas. It gives researchers, scientists and students valuable information and helps us manage and protect the environment.

There are plenty of citizen science opportunities for a whole range of interests and skill. One project underway right now involves frog calls. Your information will help us understand what frogs live where and how environmental watering affects them. We’re looking at wetlands in Victoria's north and west and anyone can join. All you need to do is register, download the FrogID app for your iPhone or Android and start recording!

3. Become a drain detective. While you won’t need a trench coat or CSI level forensic skills to become a drain detective, you will need to complete about 1.5 hours of (free) training to get involved.

Drain detectives take photos and conduct simple water quality tests at stormwater drains near Sandringham, Mentone, Mordialloc, Dromana and Rye. That helps us manage pollution from drains.

4. Landcare and Coastcare are two amazing grassroots movements helping nature – you guessed it – across land and coastal environments. Landcare, which started in Victoria, is this year celebrating 30 years as a national program and is now a global movement. Landcare groups and networks comprise a passionate mix of committed members and volunteers.

It’s also a big year for Coastcare, which marks 25 years since it was established. And just like its sister movement, it’s filled with passionate people who want to keep Victoria’s 2,000km of coastline pristine and beautiful.

Find a Landcare group near you or join a Coastcare group and make a positive contribution to our environment.

5. Helping us protect and enjoy nature. Many Victorians are unaware of the great volunteer work done by around 1,200 volunteer committees of management across the state. They’re involved in managing 1,500 Crown land reserves across Victoria. That may involve overseeing a local hall in country Victoria or managing important parts of Victoria’s natural environment such as wetlands and coastal reserves.

The work they do on a voluntary basis is worth 10s of millions of dollars every year and these remarkable people do it all for free. Their efforts help protect our forests, parks and reserves and enhance cultural connection to the land and everyone’s enjoyment of it.

6. Want to know more about how volunteering for nature feels? See how Emma is developing her knowledge and connecting with nature and her community through Knox City Council's 'Gardens for Wildlife’ program in Melbourne’s outer east. As well as helping your local environment, it can give you rewards beyond your expectations!

Page last updated: 04/12/19

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