Community grants to spread the love of our lakes

Listen up passionate community organisations and groups who contribute to a healthy Gippsland Lakes – the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee Community Grants 22/23 are now open for online application.

The grants support the groups that support the Lakes by providing funds to allow them to complete environmental and community projects.

Community groups are invited to submit applications to deliver programs to continue improving the health of the lakes through on-ground management activities and community engagement.

Since 2015, these community grants have funded many fabulous projects including the Gippsland Lakes Great Pelican Count with BirdLife Australia, the expansion of the Heyfield Wetlands, funding for Landcare networks to work with landowners and many more. The previous funding across four rounds saw 34 projects funded.

The new-look Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee (GLCC) has just commenced a three-year term and is delighted to be delivering this funding opportunity for the community to play a part in protecting the Lakes through these grants.

“This is a great opportunity for community groups to access funding to assist them in the wonderful work they do to improve the health of the Lakes,” said Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee Chair, Glenys Watts.

“There have been some incredible projects achieved with past funding allocations. We encourage new and existing community groups to apply so that they can play a part in creating this important legacy we are all working towards – protecting the important natural and cultural values of the Gippsland Lakes.”

Heyfield Wetlands is a prime example of how community projects blossom with this funding. Through four rounds of funding, this feature of the town has been enhanced. The works are also delivering environmental outcomes to protect the Gippsland Lakes and create a lasting legacy that has brought the community together.

Heyfield Wetlands Committee member Mike Kube describes the community grants in action: “We have used funding for environmental works such as erosion control and revegetation. Over the past twelve years we have worked with school students to revegetate the wetlands. This has resulted in the removal of sediment, toxins and chemicals before they enter the Thomson River and Gippsland Lakes.  Part of the process involved talking to the students about the benefits of wetlands and the value of volunteering.”

Having put thousands of plants in the ground, the committee allocated the most recent round of grant funding for aquatic planting around the lagoons and ponds with the use of contractors.

“It has been an extraordinary success. If we didn’t have the funding, the ponds would be bare or covered in weeds.”

“I love that you are leaving a legacy, when you are gone, something you are involved in is still existing,” Mike said.

Fellow committee member Barry Donahue agrees: “The grant funding is everything to us. It is fundamental to our success and has allowed us to continue to build on our previous successes.”

“We have planted thousands of trees, undertaken erosion control and more.  It’s been a wonderful success. The wetlands have become a strong community favourite. We have turned a wasteland into an environmental showcase.”

Full details of the Gippsland Lakes Community Grants 22/23 are available at this includes the Gippsland Lakes Priorities Plan, Gippsland Lakes Community Grants Guidelines and Gippsland Lakes Community Grants Application Form.

Applications close 5pm on Thursday 9 June 2022.

For more information visit the Community Grants page, or call Carolyn Cameron on 0419 892 268.

Funding for these grants has been made available from the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.