Around 500 volunteers from far and wide have registered with the Springbrook Rescue Project. For many, the hands on work helping the Parks and Wildlife Service build new national park and World Heritage areas can be a transformative and inspiring experience. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the many people who have already committed their passion, skills and time to the project.
Volunteer accommodation is essential in a remote-area project such as Springbrook Rescue. Further details are available on the associated page.
Our primary focus, wherever possible, has been allowing natural regeneration of World Heritage values in the wet core of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage site. We believe we should only actively help nature recover if there is good evidence to justify intervening. Where we can demonstrate the need, we can only achieve our primary goals with the generous involvement of the community. In a remote location such as Springbrook we are dependent on a much larger pool of volunteers than the local community can provide.
The tasks that are necessary are wide-ranging, common to most science-based restoration projects, and include:
• weed removal where their presence precludes natural regeneration or threatens nearby intact forests
• seed collecting when either the immediate species pool or dispersal agents are missing
• participating in science projects that underpin our restoration activities (biodiversity surveys, measuring the recovery of wildlife communities and their habitat requirements or condition, downloading data loggers, database entry etc)
• property maintenance and repairs so that overnight volunteers can be comfortable during their stay
Rhea Phelan was our volunteer coordinator from September 2012 to November 2013. The position is now held by Denise Elias. The menu at the top of this page links to a separate page that allows individuals to register their interest for special projects requiring particular skills and need to be conducted in a specific timeframe.
Volunteer activities are focused on the critical threat of Aristea,.
Given the scale and long-term nature of the project we have found it best, at this stage, to draw mostly on existing self-organising groups already attuned to nature and each other. An ideal group size, especially for help on the greatest challenge of controlling the enormously threatening weed Aristea ecklonii, is 10–15 people. For some tasks, smaller-sized groups are apt. We welcome volunteers from anywhere in the world, whether it be from the local community or overseas.
Unless necessary for a particular task, or when volunteers are willing and enthusiastic to do more, four hours is normally the maximum amount of time a group spends working in the field in any one day — in periods of two hours broken by morning or afternoon tea, or lunch. [For science related work on growth plots, 6–8 hours a day has been found to be necessary to complete each seasonal measure in a reasonable time.]