Guardians of the Park
Habitat Restoration Program for Western Sydney's Adolescents
Guardians of the Park is a transformational 10-week program for western Sydney teenagers designed to build self-esteem and purpose by reconnecting them with nature in Western Sydney Parklands.
Led by an experienced team of Greater Sydney Parklands education staff, teenagers learn hands-on land management practices including Indigenous land management techniques, and bush survival skills while building an appreciation and connection to Western Sydney Parklands. Over three years, the program aims to restore 3000 sqm of bushland and plant 4,620 native trees.
What are the benefits for participants?
The Guardians of the Park program helps participants understand the impact vandalism can have on the parklands, the precious bushland within it, the animals who call it home, and the community who live in surrounding areas. We conducted a pilot program with local school students in 2022 and by the end, students reported feeling pride in their work, increased happiness and self-satisfaction and improved self-esteem.
How does it benefit the Parklands?
Western Sydney Parklands faces environmental challenges such as loss of the critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland through human interaction, habitat fragmentation, the urban heat island effect and climate change. Arson and plant destruction also pose a risk to this environment.
By restoring, reconnecting, and monitoring threatened habitat Western Sydney Parklands will be more resistant to climate change and disengaged youth will feel a sense of belonging to their local green space. It is hoped the number of deliberately lit fires and instances of anti-social behaviour in the Parklands will also decline.
How can I find out more information?
We’re talking with a number of schools across western Sydney about taking part in the program next year and if you are interested, please fill out this form or reach out to Western Sydney Parklands at [email protected]