Volunteer groups that help look after Queensland’s national parks can now apply for grants of $5,000 to $25,000 under the Friends of Parks program.
Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP said the new Friends of Parks small grants program would make a real difference both to local national parks and the volunteers who loved them.
“This is great news for our community and I welcome this announcement from National Parks Minister Steve Dickson,” Mr Powell said.
“Volunteers have played an important role in managing our parks and forests since their inception and their efforts make a huge difference to park staff and visitors alike.
“The LNP wants more Queenslanders to learn about, care for and appreciate our natural environment.
“By increasing recreational and ecotourism access to our parks and forests, we are also helping to grow Queensland’s four pillar economy.
“This Friends of Parks funding program will support existing and new projects run by not-for-profit community groups within our protected areas and national parks with one-off small grants.”
Eligibility is broad and open to many different types of recreation and environmental groups, including not-for-profit organisations experienced in delivering volunteering services; outdoor recreation groups, Indigenous corporations; landcare, coastcare, bushcare and rivercare groups; community groups such as Rotary and Lions; and conservation organisations.
“Getting involved in our parks is incredibly rewarding and these projects will help make parks places local communities can enjoy and cherish,” Mr Powell said.
“Projects include providing access for adventure and nature activities such as camping, mountain biking, four-wheel driving and horse riding; visitor information services such as meet-and-greet, advice and guided activities; and conservation services including wildlife monitoring, track and campsite condition monitoring, revegetation and improved weed and pest management.”
The second stage of the program will involve contracting community organisations to employ Friends of Parks co-ordinators to improve and increase volunteering and voluntourism across Queensland parks.
Applications for the one-off grants open on 22 May and close on 28 June 2013.
More information: www.nprsr.qld.gov.au or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
[ENDS] 20 May