RCE Greater Western Sydney-2016

1. Project Title: 
Cumberland Stepping Stones: Community Engagement and Education
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Western Sydney University
Research and Evaluation
Main Contact: 
Office of Sustainability
Ms Jen Dollin
Western Sydney University
Alternative project contact: 
Rafiqul Huq
Greening Australia
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

Cumberland Plain Woodland is a critically endangered ecological plant community in Greater Western Sydney with less than 6% of remnant vegetation remaining due to the pressures of urban land development and housing in the Sydney Basin. This project forms part of the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Cumberland Conservation Corridor which aims to enhance ecological connectivity by revegetating 267 hecatres of cleared land in 3 regional corridors across the six local government regions in the target area. Through this project Greening Australia will plant a diverse mix of over 421,300 plants and expand the extent of vegetation on National Parks Estate, deliver habitat condition improvement in public reserves and engage the general, school and corporate communities in practical environmental action. The Cumberland Stepping Stones community engagement and education initiative will enhance the diversity of existing project site by supporting the efforts of existing Landcare and Bushcare groups and integrate with National Tree Day events. The project will also engage 80 schools in total with a target to plant 40,000 professionally grown, provenance tubestock as native gardens. This research collaboration between RCE GWS stakeholders Western Sydney University and Greening Australia will uses a place based research methodology in seeking to understand the answers to the externally funded research question is “Is community engagement and education an effective methodology for biodiversity conservation?”.

Methods employed in this project are:

1. Online survey of participating schools to investigate the nature of the tree planting activity and how/if this was integrated into the school curriculum

2. Onsite landholder oral place interview with one representative from each of the 6 target areas

3. Audio recorded interview with corporate participants at 3 of the corporate events

4. A focus group with a community Bushcare group of volunteers

A final report will be delivered on the findings with results from the study to inform future large scale on ground restoration work.

6. Project status
On Going
The project commenced in April 2016 and will conclude 30 June 2016.
8. Tagging