A Friends group is a group of volunteers with an interest in a particular park, reserve or species of native plant or animal. The groups are generally named after their area of focus, such as Friends of Watery Gully.
Volunteers work with Council’s Environmental Works Officers to plan works and get involved in planting, weed control, mulching, plant and animal monitoring, as well as special events such as National Tree Day.
Friends groups play a vital role in protecting threatened natural environments, as well as making Nillumbik a more beautiful place to live.
It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and help protect and enhance our significant bushland reserves. You’ll feel connected to your local area, improve your physical and mental wellbeing, connect with others and have fun!
What to expect
Many groups organise monthly work activities and a yearly calendar of events. Other groups are more informal, and run a small number of activities each year. The groups each determine how they operate, but whatever way they operate, it’s a great forum for local residents to meet and share a common interest.
Each group has a convenor who will induct new members, and the groups are supported by an Environmental Works Officer within Council.
- Activities generally run for three hours, but there is no time commitment.
- Volunteers must wear appropriate gear including gloves, long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, steel-capped safety boots, sunscreen and a hat.
- A Working with Children Check.
- Volunteers need their own transport, however groups can car pool. If you are interested in joining a group and don’t have transport, please contact the Environment Works and Land Management team to discuss.
Who it’s for
All ages are suitable and no experience is required.
You can learn from the groups and training can be provided by Council if needed. Training can help you get an understanding of issues related to land management and revegetation of degraded sites. You can also get informal training from Environmental Works officers at group activities in areas such as plant identification, revegetation techniques, weed control and using tools.
There are also opportunities to volunteer in less physical roles. Some groups like to keep their members up to date with what is happening in their park or reserve and local area through a regular newsletter. Others like to inform the neighbourhood of upcoming activities and events to encourage new members. If being out on site or physical work is difficult, volunteering in these roles is still valuable for Friends groups.
More information can be found in the Friends group manual(PDF, 2MB).
How to get involved
To join a group, email the convenor.
Friends of Moor-rul Reconciliation Grasslands
Contact Jill Kellow
Friends of Mine Road Reserve
Contact Peter Yates/Sarah Brenan
Call 0417 421 610
Coalition of Warrandyte Friends Groups
Contact Alex McCullum
Call 9844 4431
If there isn’t a Friends group in your area, you can set up your own. To set up a group talk to Council - all you will need is a contact person and a number of like-minded people in your area, along with an idea of the work that the group would like to do.