Based in Maleny, Barung Landcare is a leading community-led organisation working to develop ethical solutions for a sustainable future. We support local and regional community empowerment to conserve and enhance the rich diversity of natural resources of the Blackall Range and surrounds.
Barung Landcare was one of the early Landcare groups in Australia. It was established in 1989 and became incorporated in 1990 at the beginning of the Decade of Landcare Plan.
The landslips of the Blackall Range were a large motivation for the formation of the group, with many landholders willing to take responsibility and action, rather than look to blame past management practices or land clearing for timber harvest and agriculture. Addressing erosion and slope stability provided the first target of restoration work.
1989 was also the beginning of the Barung native plant nursery – set up to both supply local genetic plants for rehabilitation and to generate funds for Landcare – an aim identified from the beginning by Barung Management Committees.
Early Barung Landcare members comprised of farmers, hobby farmers and environmentalists. This was the beginning of the “tree change” era which saw a marked shift in attitude towards the role of trees in the landscape.
While there was some initial tension with a perception that conservation would compete with agriculture, Landcare enabled the two to complement each other and allowed people all over Australia to see that good on-farm conservation practices can, in many ways, support healthy and viable farm production through sustainable natural resource management.
In the Blackall Range and surrounds, as a shift from traditional farming practices to more sustainable land management took hold, a new challenge emerged with the increasing subdivision of large paddocks into “lifestyle” blocks. Many new landholders moving to the region from large cities or suburbs and from interstate, had no knowledge of the issues facing them as rural landholders in a sub-tropical environment. There was generally a lack of connection with the landscape and its patterns, nor an appreciation of local native species and what harm weeds and exotic species could do in terms of impact on the environment and waterways.
In response to this, the first edition of Barung’s “Blackall Range Landholders Guide” was produced in 1996 to assist new landholders in understanding the complexities of their new local environment. This targeted newcomers through local real estate agents and has always been free for any new members of Barung Landcare. An updated edition was produced in 2005 and is still an incredible local resource for new and existing landholders in the region.
Now, as the Sunshine Coast experiences more urban housing developments and the land is further divided up, environmental challenges continue in terms of preserving natural areas, maintaining habitat connectivity, encouraging local native plants in gardens instead of invasive and exotic species, and Barung remains committed to working with community, local government, local catchment groups, businesses and many others to address these emerging and pressing issues.
Barung Landcare is an established part of the social fabric of the vibrant Maleny community – working tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of the natural resources of the region for the future.
With more than 700 members, Barung has now consolidated its reputation as one of the most successful Landcare groups in Queensland, Australia and internationally.
A healthy, resilient landscape and community that is supportive of all life into the future
We inspire, connect, educate and support the community to restore, protect and regenerate the natural environment
We do this by
- Connecting people with nature in meaningful ways that contribute to a rich understanding of the natural world, as well as individual and community wellbeing
- Collaborating with First Nations leaders to embrace and integrate traditional knowledge in the way we look after Country
- Providing a range of education and training opportunities that support the community to take on custodian roles that instil values of respect, responsibility and reciprocity with nature and our natural resources
- Sharing stories that inspire and educate the broader community on ways to look after and care for nature
- Supplying a diverse range of quality local native plants to Barung members and the local community, and supporting large regional revegetation projects
- Offering quality on-ground natural area services that regenerate and restore the natural environment integrating best practice and innovative techniques backed by the latest and emerging scientific and practitioner knowledge
A changing climate
New landholders with limited skills and knowledge
Increased development pressures
how we are responding
In 2019 Barung Landcare declared a climate emergency. With this came a commitment to increase the production of local native plants and provide the community with skills and knowledge in climate resilience and adaptation practices
In 2021 Barung Landcare embarked on an organisational restructure to support a more targeted and robust education and community engagement program which supports the community to grow its skills, knowledge and participation in sustainable land management and conservation efforts in the region
By improving partnerships and collaboration with regional bodies, Barung Landcare is able to deliver a broader range of projects, services and training opportunities, as well as increase community access and participation in sustainable land management and conservation efforts in the region
By delivering programs which invite increased community participation in Landcare across all generations, Barung Landcare provides an inclusive environment for the broader community to care for and connect with nature