Green Active – practical engagement in nature for community health

Snapshot Solution
Green Active Volunteers in Nature © Conservation Volunteers Australia
Green Active is a unique and highly effective program that promotes community engagement in practical conservation activities that provide significant social, health and well-being benefits to the participants and related communities, while protecting biodiversity. It recognises the research demonstrating the health benefits of engaging in nature and promotes a model of facilitated practical engagement to ensure inclusion of ‘at risk’ communities.
Last update: 14 Jan 2022
Challenges addressed
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Scale of implementation
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Genetic diversity
Invasive alien species
Species management
Health and human wellbeing
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Victoria, Australia
Through the partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) and Parks Victoria a series of Green Active models have been trialed with great success. Over a period of 2 years the Green Active program engaged ‘at risk’ communities across 20 Parks Victoria protected area locations resulting in over 15000 volunteer hours with environmental outcomes such as; 6000 Trees Planted, 900 Ha Weeds Removed and 95kg Seed Collected. A monitoring and evaluation tool referred to as “Most Significant Change” stories reported 85% of individuals participating in the program as healthier and 100% were more socially connected. Stories have been inspiring for example a Volunteer’s wife and carer said “ On most days I have to remind him to put shoes on and to brush his teeth but on Green Gym days he is ready to go by himself with everything he needs organised. The first few times I walked with him, now he comes and says I’m going now’ and ‘My body image has improved. I am more confident and I have a great deal of social interaction. I am less depressed and anxious”.
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