Volunteering in Nature: Summer Series 2020

Join us for a week full of virtual and practical volunteer events across Victoria! Learn new skills, meet new people with similar interests to you and get back in to nature with a diverse range of opportunities to suit everyone’s interest. There are program information sessions, marine and terrestrial activities, training opportunities and much more. Celebrate International Volunteer Day (Saturday 5th December) together with fun and interactive activities in your local area.

To join an activity, please first register with ParkConnect. Not registered with ParkConnect? Create your own volunteering account, it’s quick and easy.

All virtual online volunteer events will be hosted using Microsoft Teams. We suggest you download the app prior to attending the event. For more information on attending virtual events, see the step-by-step instructions to join and participate in an event (PDF). All virtual events will be recorded and made available to view after.


COVID-19

All Parks Victoria volunteer activities will be managed in alignment with the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) including the need for physical distancing, face masks and good hygiene.

All volunteers will need to provide their own hygiene supplies including hand sanitiser and face masks.  Volunteers are also asked to bring with them the following items; hat, gloves, sturdy footwear, safety glasses, wet weather gear, drink bottle, sunscreen and food.


More information

For more information, email volunteer@parks.vic.gov.au

Victoria’s Great Outdoors

The Summer Series 2020 is funded as part of a $4.5million investment to boost conservation and volunteering as part of the Victoria’s Great Outdoors program. The Victoria’s Great Outdoors program aims to get more Victorians, from all walks of life out and enjoying nature.

 

Program

Virtual Citizen Science training

Discover more about the variety of citizen science volunteer opportunities on offer around Victoria. Find out about the latest activities and apps you can get involved in, including programs monitoring key species such as native fish, birds, animals and plants, and opportunities to monitor the types of litter impacting your local park. Learn how people like yourself can get involved in these programs and connect to environmental volunteering. You don’t need a science degree to be a citizen scientist, there’s something for everyone!

Introduction to LitterWatch

LitterWatch training video: what is it and how can I be involved? Litter and plastic pollution are increasing challenges in our parks. The LitterWatch program collects data from volunteers on the types and trends of litter they find and remove from their local area to compare litter from different areas and time periods. It supports our park management planning, as well as helping us to advocate on policy making at a higher level. In this short video you will learn about the LitterWatch program and how you support it while helping to keep our parks healthy.

Introduction to ClimateWatch Trails

Tuesday 1 December: 10am–11am
Nature has many seasonal events around the planet that are a wonder to behold – spring flowers bursting, long distance bird and mammal migrations, autumn leaves falling.  Many of these events are driven by climate, but our climate is changing, and fast.  How will our changing climate affect Australia’s plants and animals, and the timing of nature’s events on this great island nation?  You can help scientists answer this question by participating in ClimateWatch.  During this webinar Andrea Haas, Head of Programs at EarthWatch you’ll hear about the ClimateWatch program, how you can contribute data as a citizen scientist to ClimateWatch, where to find a ClimateWatch trail, and where your data goes for use by climate change researchers. 
The Howqua River at Alpine National Park

Catchment to Coast Citizen Science

Wednesday 2 December: 2pm - 3pm
Let us introduce you to the work Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) do in our local catchments and key waterways and hear how citizen science is applied at priority waterways, to help monitor CCMA activities addressing river health issues. We will introduce you to the citizen science programs at the CCMA including the EstuaryWatch and Waterwatch long term monitoring programs, the River Detectives freshwater education program and a wide variety of short term citizen science activities. See the dynamic nature of the region’s waterways in photopoint monitoring, then dive into data analysis of important water quality parameters like dissolved oxygen and salinity collected by dedicated volunteer monitors.

An introduction to frog census and frog monitoring

Friday 4 December: 10am – 11am
Join James Frazer from Melbourne Water Frog Census for an introduction to the amazing world of frogs. This live webinar will cover the ecological role of frogs in wetland and waterway environments; threats facing frogs; and practical hands-on citizen science and habitat restoration actions you can take to help frog populations.

Practical Citizen Science activities and events

Ready to get out in the field? Then join one of our practical citizen science activities! Explore some of Victoria’s ClimateWatch trails in our ranger-led walks or join a ranger-led group LitterWatch activity. For marine activities please see our marine section.

Ranger-led LitterWatch event: Yarrawonga Common

Tuesday 1 December: 10am – 11am
Meeting Point: Cullens Road park entrance.
Join a ranger-led LitterWatch activity and help protect our natural environment. Volunteers will be assisting local staff in removing litter from beautiful Yarrawonga Common. Learn about the LitterWatch program while helping our team to keep the Common clean!
Ranger interpretation and education at Grampians National Park

Ranger-led ClimateWatch Trail walk: Venus Baths, Grampians National Park

Wednesday 2 December: 9am – 10:30am
Meeting point: Trail Head of Venus Baths – next to the Tennis Courts at the Botanic gardens entry. Parks Victoria has been working with Earthwatch Institute to establish ClimateWatch Trails in a number of parks across the state to record the seasonal behaviour of species in consistent locations. Join our ranger on a guided walk of the climate watch trail in the stunning Grampians National Park, learn about species identification and why citizen science is important for conservation in the Grampians.
Ranger interpretation and education at Serendip Sanctuary

Ranger-led ClimateWatch Trail walk: Serendip Sanctuary

Wednesday 2 December: 10am – 11am
Explore Serendip Sanctuary’s ClimateWatch Trail with this ranger-led walk on Wednesday or Friday. Learn about the ClimateWatch Program and why it is important in conserving this region’s native wildlife.
A group of volunteers walking through Yarra Bend Park

Ranger-led ClimateWatch Trail walk: Yarra Bend Park

Thursday 3 December: 4pm – 5pm
Meeting point: Meet at Kane's Bridge on the Studley Park Boat House side of the Yarra.
Join our ranger-led walk along the ClimateWatch trail through beautiful Yarra Bend Park. Attendees will learn about the Climate Watch program and species identification.
A lush wetland scene found in the central Grampians.

Ranger-led LitterWatch event: Grampians National Park

Friday 4 December: 9am - 12pm
Meet at: Brambuk Cultural Centre – 277 Grampians Tourist Road Halls Gap.
Join a ranger-led LitterWatch activity and help protect our fragile ecosystem. Volunteers will be assisting local staff in removing litter from beautiful Grampians National Park. Learn about the litter watch program while helping our team to keep the Grampians clean!
Ranger interpretation and education at Serendip Sanctuary

Ranger-led ClimateWatch Trail walk: Serendip Sanctuary

Friday 4 December: 10am – 11am
Explore Serendip Sanctuary’s ClimateWatch Trail with this ranger-led walk on Friday. Learn about the ClimateWatch Program and why it is important in conserving this region’s native wildlife.

Self-guided Citizen Science activities

Three friends take a break from their walk to take a photo of a Kangaroo who is equally watching them.

Summer Series BioBlitz

Try your hand at citizen science through our week-long bioblitz! It’s fun, easy and helps with research into the conservation and biodiversity in our parks. Download the free iNaturalist app from the app store or visit their website at inaturalist.org, explore parks and take photos of the species in them. You might like to do it at your local park or follow one of Victoria’s climate watch trails listed in Self-guided Citizen Science activities above.
A koala sitting in a tree at French Island National Park.

Bushfire Recovery Community Reporting

Have you seen a...?
Glossy Black Cockatoo? Eastern Ground Parrot? Diamond Python? Spot-tailed Quoll? Lace Monitor / Tree Goanna? Koala?
The 2019/20 bushfires through East Gippsland and south-eastern Australia have had a devastating impact on wildlife. Lots of work is being done to help animals recover. Some species are always hard to find and we are seeking your help to better understand how they are faring. Reporting is easy, and every sighting helps!

Virtual marine training

Want to learn more about the Sea Search volunteer program? Want to refresh your species ID skills? Then these sessions are for you! These two sessions will introduce you to the program and show you how you can be involved in our long-term marine monitoring program. The refresher ID session is great for those who want to review their marine ID skills and monitoring techniques.

The Sea Search manual (PDF) is a great resource to have to hand.

Two men in wet suits in the water with a boat and land in the background

Online Introduction to Sea Search

Monday 30 November: 2pm – 3pm
Ever visited some of our marine national parks and sanctuaries? It can be really fun to look at the plants and animals we find when rock pooling or snorkelling, but if you'd like to do more than just look, maybe Sea Search could be for you. Parks Victoria undertakes monitoring of our intertidal reefs (and other habitats) to check their condition, and we do this through the citizen science program Sea Search. Run by rangers at a number of sites across the state, volunteers meet and count the plants and animals found using standard methods so we can track change. You'll get to learn more about the different species and visit some beautiful places. If this sounds like something you'd like to try, join us for this introductory information session to learn more. 
Enoplosus armatus, commonly known as the old wife, is a species of perciform fish endemic to the temperate coastal waters of Australia.

Virtual Training: Sea Search methods refresher and species ID

Wednesday 2 December: 10am – 11:30 am
This session will run through the methods for undertaking the Sea Search intertidal reef surveys and the species image library methods.  It is suitable for new participants that have attended the introduction session and current volunteers that have undertaken Sea Search before as a refresher. We'll also provide a focused ID session on the seaweeds and common invertebrate species that are encountered and recorded during Sea Search with tips and tricks for figuring them out. The Sea Search Manual (see link above) has all the details of the methods we will cover and is a great resource to have to hand. 

Practical Sea Search activities

Ready to test out your Sea Search skills? Then join one of our ranger-led Sea Search group activities. Meet like-minded volunteers and learn from experts in the field.
Volunteers working at Eagle Rock Marine Sancutary

Practical Sea Search Activity at Point Addis

Friday 4 December: 9:00am - 11:00am
Join our ranger-led Sea Search activity at Point Addis. Learn about Sea Search monitoring techniques and join other volunteers while you contribute to marine citizen science research.

Practical Sea Search Activity at Point Lonsdale

Saturday 5 December: 8:30am – 11am
Join our ranger-led Sea Search activity at Point Lonsdale. Learn about Sea Search monitoring techniques and join other volunteers while you contribute to marine citizen science research.

Volunteer Track Ranger and Volunteer-led activities

Curious about Parks Victoria’s volunteer programs? Then join our staff and volunteers at one of our Volunteer Track Ranger or volunteer-led Park Walk activities. Learn more while enjoying time in one of our beautiful parks.
A ranger with a group of people in the shade of a tree at Braeside Park

Ranger-led Significant Tree Walk: Braeside Park

Monday 30 November: 9:30am - 11:30am
Enjoy a guided Ranger-led walk and discover the significant trees and plant communities at Braeside Park. See heathland, woodland, and wetland environments, and learn about the natural and cultural significance of the diverse range of native and introduced species in this multi-layered landscape. The walk is expected to take approximately 1.5 hours and cover around 3km.
Family walking along a path at Brimbank Park

Ranger-led Park Walk: Brimbank Park

Wednesday 2 December: 10am – 11am
Meeting Point: The Parks Victoria office / cafe building
Join our Park Walk Leader for a relaxing walk through Brimbank Park. Spot wildlife and admire the picturesque natural surroundings of this peaceful park. This intermediate walk is approximately 1 hour in duration. The route uses a combination of sealed and well-maintained gravel paths and has some hills.
The Wattle Park Tram - a feature of the park.

Wattle Park – Half-day Volunteer Track Ranger

Saturday 5 December: 9:30am – 12:30pm.
Come and celebrate International Volunteer Day with us! Our Half Day Volunteer Track Ranger events are the perfect opportunity for you to get involved, get outdoors and meet like-minded volunteers while working alongside our Rangers and Park staff for the day.
Volunteers will be helping with a range of park maintenance activities.
Three friends walk along side the Plenty river near Nioka Bushcamp

Plenty Gorge – Half-day Volunteer Track Ranger

Sunday 6 December: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Our Half-Day Volunteer Track Ranger events are the perfect opportunity for you to get involved, get outdoors and meet like-minded volunteers while working alongside our Rangers and Park staff for the day. Volunteers will be helping with park maintenance activities.
A ranger explains a map to two visitors

Gresswell Forest - Volunteer-led Park Walk

Sunday 6 December: 10am – 12pm
Relax and enjoy a volunteer-led walk through Gresswell Forest. Learn more about this beautiful forest and the species that live here from our friendly volunteer guide. This walk is a medium difficulty walk that may include small hills and uneven ground. The walk is approximately 1.5 hours duration along a wide gravel track.

Virtual information sessions

Join virtual information sessions with our staff to learn more about Parks Victoria’s volunteer programs, including Volunteer Track Rangers, Campground Hosts, Park Guides, Park Walk Leaders and Trail Rider volunteers. You can also learn about inclusive volunteering through training in accessibility and inclusion of people with vision loss with an expert from Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria.
A Volunteer Campground Host looks at information with two visitors

Behind the scenes of Parks Victoria’s Volunteer Track Ranger and Campground Host Programs

Tuesday 1 December: 7pm – 8pm
Ever wanted to know more about the Volunteer Track Ranger and Campground Host programs? Would you like to hear from staff coordinating the programs and volunteers who have completed these programs? Then join us for this virtual information and Q&A session!
A vision impaired woman and friend inspecting a large, old tree at Valley Picnic Ground

Blind Sport and Recreation Victoria - Vision Awareness training

Thursday 3 December: 10am – 11:30am
Join us on International Day of People with Disability to learn from expert Anthea Taylor from Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria as she provides training on understanding low vision and blindness. Learn about the benefits of sport and recreation for people with vision loss. Learn sighted guiding and communication techniques and key strategies to support people with vision loss to be included in sport, recreation and volunteering pursuits.
Two people assist a third person in an all terrain wheelchair along a track surrounded by nature

Behind the scenes of Parks Victoria’s Park Guides, Park Walks and Trail Rider Volunteer Programs

Thursday 3 December: 2pm – 3pm
Ever wanted to know more about the Park Guides, Park Walks and Trail Rider Volunteer Programs? Would you like to hear from staff coordinating the programs and volunteers who have completed these programs? Then join us for this virtual information and Q&A session!
Scenery, Grampians National Park, Mt William, Gariwerd, Rock outcrops, landscape, view, low light, dusk. plants, flora,;

Grampians National Park/Gariwerd Volunteer Information Session

Thursday 3 December: 7pm – 8pm
This session will provide information for community members interested in volunteering in the Grampians region and will connect them with our current volunteer groups. We will discuss current and future volunteer opportunities and the Parks Victoria volunteer programs so our community can ‘Get into Nature’ in 2021!
Helmeted Honeyeater at feeding station (photo credit: Marcia Riederer)

Helmeted Honeyeaters - how volunteers can help conserve this threatened species

Friday 4 December: 2pm – 3pm
Learn about this fascinating threatened species and the project focussed on its conservation. Find out how volunteers can support this project in future and ask the experts your questions about this fantastic project caring for one of Victoria’s faunal emblems.
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