Get Involved

What we do in our everyday activities at home, work and play affects our local environment in some way.

Everyone in the Great Lakes is responsible for protecting this beautiful part of Australia. To achieve our environmental goals, Great Lakes Council needs you to get involved.

You can help in a variety of ways. Read on to find out how.

On this page: 

Volunteer

Are you interested in helping with one of our many land care, dune care, reserve maintenance or waterways teams? If so, visit our volunteering page to find out more and fill in an application form.

How about to assist with one of our land care, dune care or waterways teams? Follow the link to find out more and fill in an application form.

Get Educated

One way to help our environment is to find out more about it. Our education programs  and workshops provide the community with information on how to protect the local environment whilst carrying out their everyday activities. Check this page regularly or see our latest news or events to keep informed about upcoming environmental education programs or workshop events.

Marine Learning:

Since 2007 we have supported a series of marine education lectures and movie nights in partnership with Local Lands Services (Taree). The 'Marine Discovery' Series brings visiting marine scientists to the Great Lakes area to share their research findings with the local community. Topics presented to date have ranged from "Marine Debris" and Great White Sharks through to Giant Cuttlefish courtship behaviour! Suitable for all ages, this program aims to engage the local community in marine learning and activities.

Read Up - 'Creek to Coast'

Keep up to date with what's going on by subscribing to our regular free newsletter "Creek to Coast".

The 'Creek to Coast' is a Great Lakes wide Natural Resource Management newsletter to keep you up to date with positive actions and opportunities in the Great Lakes to care for our natural resources including waterways, agricultural land, urban areas and biodiversity.

Take Part in a Project

The environmental team here at Great Lakes Council frequently run projects which involve public or local business participation. Currently, we're inviting people to get on board with the following projects:

Backyard Bushcare

Backyard Bushcare is all about working with local people to help protect and enhance the beauty and biodiversity of the whole of the Great Lakes coastal strip, including Forster.

The project provides a number of ways to get involved and learn about weed issues, make a difference in your local environment, as well as making your own garden more beautiful and wildlife-friendly.

Approximately 65% of bushland weeds in Australia are garden escapees - plants originally brought in as attractive garden plants which have, through seeds spreading or green waste dumping, jumped the fence and invaded natural areas.

Back in 2013, over 1,100 private properties in Forster were inspected for invasive and noxious weed species. We then developed the Backyard Bushcare program to address this serious environmental threat. The inspected properties are a particular focus for the program.

We send out monthly Weed Bulletin Emails, profiling a different weed each month. Find out how to identify and control it, why it's a problem in the Great Lakes area, and lots of other useful information.

You can view and download our previous Weed Bulletin emails below:

Sign up for future Weed Bulletin emails .

Sustainable Farming Program

Our Sustainable Farming Program worked with local rural landholders to protect and restore their environment, using sustainable land management practices.

The project helped establish a number of farming network groups and involved hands-on workshops combined with on farm trials and setting up of demonstration sites.

Council can continue to assist landholders to apply for funding of Natural Resource Management projects through the Hunter Local Land Services .

The Sustainable Farming Program was run in partnership with Karuah and Great Lakes Landcare, with the assistance of the Australian Governments Caring for our Country program and Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare (KGLL) is an umbrella organisation continuing to support the numerous active Sustainable Farming groups in our area. For more information and to get involved contact the president, Robyn Lamond on 0419 800896 or at robyn.lamond@gmail.com 

'Land for Wildlife' Program

Land for Wildlife is a national voluntary registration scheme for landowners who manage areas of their property for biodiversity and wildlife habitat. The program encourages and assists landholders to include nature conservation in their land management. The LFW program is free to join, it is not legally binding and registration does not change the legal status of a property.

Great Lakes Council and Karuah Great Lakes Landcare are partners in delivering the LFW program in our area. There is a team of regional providers to help identify and assess your wildlife habitats, enabling your registration with the program. In NSW, LFW is coordinated by the Community Environment Network (CEN). CEN is an alliance of community and environment groups that actively campaigns for ecologically sustainable development.

What are the Benefits for Members?

LFW supports people who manage for wildlife on their property and provides opportunities for like-minded landholders to share their experiences. Members registered under the scheme will receive a property sign acknowledging their efforts to protect native vegetation and wildlife on their property.

How to Join the Program
For general information on the Land for Wildlife program, either visit the Community Environment Network website page ,email Great Lakes Council (Natural Systems Department)  or call 02 6591 7222. If you would like to join the Great Lakes program, please complete a 'Landholder Expression of Interest'  below.

FOCUS on Energy Reduction

Measure your electricity usage, save money and the environment.

Did you know your dryer could be costing you $60 a year in electricity costs and could be releasing up to 500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year! 

Residents of the Great Lakes now have free access to power usage meters. These are simple handheld devices that help you conduct a home energy assessment.  Pinpoint high energy consuming appliances and find out how much each appliance costs to run. You can even calculate how much power is used by devices in "standby mode". Standby power is nearly 10% of household energy consumption.

The power usage meters can help you learn to make simple lifestyle changes, potentially saving $100's a year and tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

FOCUS on Energy Reduction kits are free to borrow from Forster and Tea Gardens Libraries.