As one of the leading Council’s participating in the national Habitat Stepping Stones programme, local residents are being encouraged to get involved by adding food, water and shelter elements to their yards, while improving local biodiversity.
Livingstone Shire has one of the highest numbers of registered participants in this non-profit initiative developed at Macquarie University, and environment Councillor Tom Wyatt wants to see more residents jump on board.
“Over the past 12 months, Livingstone had the second highest number of people joining the programme, with just under 60 registered residents, pledging over 400 habitat elements for their backyards/properties ranging from food and shelter plants, bird baths, water features, ponds, nesting boxes and rock and brush piles,” Cr Wyatt said.
“The work that programme members are doing is making a real difference to Livingstone’s local environment, and changing people's long-term behaviour at the same time. Council is also planning to hold an event for all of its Habitat Stepping Stones members later this year.”
Zilzie resident Dani and her family have built several spaces amongst their garden to attract and shelter wildlife including lizards, goannas, bird species and Rocket Frogs.
“In the back corner of our garden we’ve built a two-tiered pond which is well-sheltered from direct sun and predators and it houses a family of Rocket Frogs which have only been residents since we started our pledge with the Habitat Stepping Stones initiative,” Dani said.
“It has been a very rewarding experience since joining the programme and our garden is thriving since adding these elements.”
Once registered, pledgers will receive a colourful plaque for their front fence and access to the vast Habitat Stepping Stones information and resources network.
“Council will provide 10 free plants from our Community Nursery and a fauna habitat box to residents who sign up to the programme as well,” Cr Wyatt added.
“On the habitat stepping stones website; the food, water and shelter sections showcase many habitat options, including birdbaths, nest boxes and specific plants that are beneficial to wildlife by providing nectar, seeds, and shelter, or nesting materials.
“The plant selection includes plants of varying heights, to promote habitat diversity, and also a range of flowering/fruiting/seeding times, to maximise biodiversity outcomes. I strongly encourage anybody interested to get involved and add to the wonderful impacts that creating these habitats have on our native wildlife.”
Interested residents just need to visit www.habitatsteppingstones.org.au and select Livingstone under location and pledge to add three or more habitat options to their place.
About the Programme
The Habitat Stepping Stones programme has now received a total of 880 pledges from its members for the addition of 6,558 habitat elements from across local government areas all over Australia.