The bustling city of Cairns, surrounded by two World Heritage Areas – the tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef – is home to equally busy and active community groups. Many highly-skilled and passionate volunteers support a wide range of community groups, resulting in a diversity of projects across the landscape, focussing on water quality, habitat restoration, biosecurity and threatened species. Outside the urban boundaries of Cairns, the Kuranda community is particularly active in areas of habitat connectivity and environmental education.
Established for over 18 years, Envirocare’s ongoing work, particularly in revegetation, is viewed positively in the community, and the group is accepted as a part of the Kuranda scene, with a valid voice in many local issues. Kuranda Envirocare has a special commitment to preserving and strengthening the Envirolink Corridor, a 10 kilometre stretch of remnant rainforest south and west of Kuranda. Comprehensive monitoring of project results through bird surveys provides feedback and opportunities for adaptive management to ensure the ongoing success of projects.
Another strong focus of the group is biosecurity, in particular, the threat posed to biodiversity and lifestyle by Yellow Crazy Ants. Volunteers from Envirocare’s YCA Community Taskforce have committed to ongoing containment and eradication of this invasive and destructive species.
Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce Eradication Program Kuranda
Since the group’s inception in 1992, Treeforce volunteers have been busy repairing and revegetating the Cairns landscape. With a close partnership established with the Cairns Regional Council nursery and a range of regular volunteer activities, Treeforce has flourished and continues to achieve significant onground environmental outcomes. Revegetation projects along the coastal waterways have contributed to improved habitat and connectivity, increased awareness and appreciation in the community of local natural areas and have provided the community the opportunity to be actively engaged with a supportive network to achieve visible and rewarding results.
Treeforce - Trees for The Cairns Environment - Freshwater Creek, Redlynch
Wet Tropics SoilCare
SoilCare provides members with an opportunity to share information and expertise on sustainable soil management practices. With a strong focus on education and awareness, the group promotes the far-reaching benefits of good soil health, from contributing to secure livelihoods, through to maintaining strong and vigorous communities.
Keep on Digging
Children for Change
Only recently established in Cairns in 2014, Children for Change encourages interaction between children and the environment to foster a lifelong respect for the natural world. Their flagship program, Awareness and Interaction between Children and their Environment, provides fun and educational activities for school aged children to explore and discover more about their local environment.
The AICE (Awareness and Interaction between Children and their Environment) Club Project
Kuranda Conservation Community Nursery
KCons is well known for their community native plant nursery, which supplies seedlings to local revegetation projects, as well as to the public. KCons’ important role in networking with other regional natural resource management groups helps facilitate regional educational and research outcomes, while fostering volunteer involvement. The group’s projects focus on the health of local ecosystems, community engagement and involvement and conserving wildlife.
Barron Catchment Care (BCC)
The Barron River system is one of the most heavily used and impacted of all streams in the Wet Tropics. Barron Catchment Care’s aims of sustainable land use and catchment management strategies are only possible through the ongoing efforts of the group’s volunteers and support within the community; success relies on the voluntary actions of individuals and organisations who choose to make their land management practices more sustainable, with the support of Barron Catchment Care. With individuals on the group representing a broad range of interest groups (including local councils, rural producers, commerce and industry, urban community, conservation, tourism, education and State agencies), the needs of local communities and the catchments they live in can be considered carefully and acted upon. Since the group’s formation in 1992, BCC has managed and implemented a range of successful projects, with the group’s main areas of focus including revegetation and habitat restoration, land and water management and community engagement and planning.
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Conservation Volunteers’ projects are managed in conjunction with project partners, including regional councils, national parks, museums, landcare groups and conservation departments. Since 1982, across Australia CVA has helped over 100,000 volunteers connect with nature through volunteering with one of their many partner organisations. Volunteers come from all walks of life, and almost every country of the world, but one thing they have in common is the great experience of getting outdoors and doing something worthwhile for Australia’s environment. Many projects across the Wet Tropics have been supported by CVA volunteers, providing excellent opportunities for sharing knowledge and vital support to achieve on-ground conservation outcomes, as well as the chance to promote local environmental work on a global scale.
Cairns and Far North Environment Council
CAFNEC provides a strong, united voice on environmental advocacy for the Cairns and far north region. Two key World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforests, provide a focus for activities in the local region, while a range of issues of state and national significance are becoming an increasingly important part of their work. Passionate and dedicated volunteers provide their time, energy and expertise to contribute towards a community that protects, respects and connects with our unique natural tropical environment.
Frog Safe has been active in the Cairns and far north region for many years, providing a rescue and rehabilitation service for native frog species, many of which have suffered severe declines in population numbers in recent years. Frog Safe is also passionate about providing information and education to residents on maintaining the health of frogs and their habitats, and have been involved in research projects regarding the dramatic declines seen in global frog populations.
JCU Sustainability Club
Run by James Cook University students, the Sustainability Club aims to empower students, staff and Cairns community members to be involved in and create action for sustainability. The group’s mission is to promote a sustainable lifestyle, connect groups together and empower people to create change throughout JCU and the general community.