Work parties are one of the NPA’s key activities, and the impact they have in our parks cannot be understated.
The importance of this work was recently emphasised at the ACT Environmental Volunteers conference, co-hosted by Landcare ACT and the ACT Government, where attendees were told that volunteers contribute millions of dollars (primarily in their time) to the environment in the ACT. Given how valuable environmental volunteers are in the ACT, Mike Bremers and I convened a small meeting with some long-serving NPA work party participants to see how the NPA committee can best support work parties.
Attendees of the meeting were thankful of the efforts of Work Party Coordinator Martin Chalk in organising work parties. His dedication to hands-on conservation work has truly been an asset to the NPA.
Working alongside Martin and the other long-time work party participants in Namadgi would certainly provide new NPA members with a deeper appreciation of the environment around Canberra, and finding ways to spread this message was a key takeaway from the meeting for me.
While everyone felt there is good coverage of work parties by the Bulletin and on social media, it was raised that the monthly general meetings could also serve as an opportunity to inform members of recent and upcoming activities. This is something the committee will endeavour to do at upcoming general meetings.
It was felt that more could be done to promote work parties on the NPA website, such as providing more precise detail on the location of work parties than just ‘Namadgi National Park’ or other conservation areas in the ACT region. The website could explain what an attendee may expect from a work party, the need to register with ParkCare, and other relevant information about catering, equipment, and physical requirements. And it needs to highlight the impact that the NPA has had through its work party activities.
As part of our new website update, I have offered to help provide more details about work parties such as past activities with pictures and maps, expectations, future work plans, and other information that may encourage people to join NPA work parties. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please contact me at
With this increased effort to raise the awareness of our work parties, we hope to see new members participating more frequently in the future. We are also discussing opportunities to combine work party activities with bushwalks, as well as looking at partnerships with other organisations. So stay tuned for more.
Hugh Coppell is a member of the NPA committee and a regular participant in work parties.