Brisbane City Council's Bush Neighbours initiative is an educational program that builds connections between communities to bring about positive change in how we treat our local environment. The program is currently delivered to Grade 4 and 5 students across Brisbane, and creates an awareness of the importance of bushland reserves, the schoolyard and the student’s own back yard. Students learn how to conserve habitat, keep bushland areas and waterways free from pollution and create wildlife friendly gardens.
Bush Neighbours follows the Australian Curriculum and includes:
- school visits by our Environment Centre Education team
- a presentation with live native wildlife
- a guided walk through a local reserve or green space
- hands-on activities in school and at a local reserve
- assistance with an in-school project to enhance your school’s native habitat
- bi-annual follow up from the Environment Centre staff.
Teachers will also receive a valuable resource kit, which includes curriculum links and suggested pre and post lesson activities for students.
For more information on Bush Neighbours, or how to get involved, contact the Environment Centres on 07 3407 2400 or email the education team.
Good bush neighbour behaviours
By working with children across Brisbane, we hope to reach the wider community and encourage all residents to play a part in protecting the natural environment. Feral animals, uncontrolled pets, weeds, fire and some recreation all negatively affect the environment. We can respond to these impacts by following a few simple steps. These include:
- Report sightings of feral or pest animals to Council by phoning 07 3403 8888.
- Leave dead and fallen timber, hollow logs and piles of stones around your property as a refuge for lizards and small marsupials.
- Remove garden weeds - Council’s online weed identification tool can assist you with this.
- If you see a fire, phone 000.
- Keep your dog on a leash when walking and clean up after it. A number of dog-off leash parks also exist across Brisbane.
- Keep dogs and cats locked up at night and desex them to avoid unwanted litters.
- When walking in a reserve stay on the designated track to stop erosion and damage to plants.
- Ride bikes and horses on designated tracks only.
- Take reusable bags to the shops and say no to plastic.
- Pack a litterless lunch for school and help reduce litter.
- Check shoes and socks for seeds and plant materials before and after visiting natural areas to reduce the spread of weeds.
- Plant native species - Brisbane residents can collect two free native plants each year through Council's free native plants program.
- Compost your garden green waste, or apply for a green waste recycling bin.
- Record sightings of native wildlife on the Atlas of Living Australia website.
You can even go further by joining a local Bushcare or catchment group through Habitat Brisbane or the Brisbane Catchments Network and help to restore natural habitat across Brisbane. This is also a great way to meet other people in your community.
Bush Neighbours Champions
Council's Bush Neighbours Champions (BNC) initiative is an experience-based educational program that aims to encourage behaviour change. With our vision ‘Explore, Connect and Act!’, participating students will gain knowledge, confidence and leadership skills through hands-on activities.
The program is available for Grade 5 and 6 students who have already completed the Bush Neighbours program. Each Bush Neighbours school teacher nominates two students at the end of the Bush Neighbours program to participate in the Bush Neighbours Champions program.
- Exclusively to current enrolled Nature Rangers and nominated students from selected schools participating in the Bush Neighbours program.
- Each Bush Neighbours school can nominate two students at the end of the Bush Neighbours program to participate in the Bush Neighbours Champions program.
- All participants are required to attend a minimum of five Bush Neighbours Champions activities, including the leadership planning session.
- Create a new, or enhance existing, Bush Neighbour school environmental initiative for their school.
- Participants are required to submit a project report in any form and present on their environmental initiative at the end of the program for a chance to win prizes.
- The program will run on a yearly basis from March-November, including school holidays and some weekends.
Through this program, Bush Neighbours Champions will:
- become environmental leaders in their school and community
- work with like-minded individuals
- make a difference in their local environment.
How to participate
Parents/carers of nominated students need to fill out the online registration form to participate in the program.
Participating students are required to book into activities. To book email BNC@brisbane.qld.gov.au.
For more information on Bush Neighbours Champions, or how to get involved you can:
- phone the Environment Centres on 07 3407 2400
- email BNC@brisbane.qld.gov.au