Environment and wildlife warriors will soon be pulling on the work-boots to help care for parks and forests across the state, thanks to new Friends of Parks contracts worth almost $880,000.
Four organisations have signed on to assist with volunteer campground hosting and visitor services, wildlife monitoring, weed control, revegetating, and park maintenance.
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said the $1.5 million Friends of Parks initiative had helped the Newman Government deliver on its election commitment to enhance volunteering and “voluntourism” in Queensland’s national parks.
“The Labor Government never funded volunteering programs. This Government is prepared to back the volunteer group with resources to improve our national parks,” Mr Dickson said.
“The successful recipients Wild Mob, Conservation Volunteers Australia, ECOllaboration and Australia Nature Tours are all highly regarded and experienced in the delivery of volunteering services.
“The funding will deliver almost 68,000 volunteer hours to assist in managing some of our most beautiful and iconic national parks from the Gold Coast to the Daintree, on reef islands and inland as far as Carnarvon Gorge.
“These contracts will see more than 20 part-time co-ordinators across the state recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers to help support front-line management of our parks.”
This is the second stage of the community small grants program, which is currently being rolled out across the state.
The contracts were announced at Parklands Conservation Park north of Nambour, where first round Friends of Parks grant recipients the Bushrangers Mountain Bike Club are surfacing and repairing track sections.
Club President Terry Morgan said their $25,000 grant would go a long way.
“We plan to buy a mechanical wheel barrow, Wacker Packer to compact the trail surface, trailer and a variety of hand tools including picks, rakes and shovels,” Mr Morgan said.
“We will also be installing directional posts, trail signs with maps, and trail markers to clearly identify where riders are allowed to go.”