After running for one month with 25 properties and 450 participants, the 2014 Land for Wildlife Open Property Scheme officially ended on the 31st May. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended, which is encouraging to hear and gives us lots of ideas for future schemes. I thoroughly enjoyed the events I attended.

The Open Properties were diverse but there was a commonality of purpose and dedication. All landowners want to leave their properties in better condition than when they bought them and all are actively managing their properties to reduce weeds and provide habitat.

The main theme echoed at all Open Properties was the value of social connections. According to feedback, the best part of the Scheme was “Knowledge sharing with other participants”, “Connecting with other LfW members” and “Meeting like-minded people”.

Many participants reported that they will try new things on their own properties based on what they learnt and saw

during the Scheme. In their own words, participants will try to “Prioritise weed species”, “Become aware of the different ecosystems on a property”, “Encourage natural regeneration”, “Get a fox trap” and “Leave fallen timber in waterways”.

Most participants visited Open Properties close to home. Some people met their neighbours for the first time and learnt about local landcare groups. It was great to see these connections unfolding.

The 2014 Open Property Scheme was made possible by the generosity of Land for Wildlife members who opened up their properties and welcomed other landholders. Eleven Local Governments and SEQ Catchments, with funding support from the Queensland Government Gambling Community Bene t Fund, all contributed to making the Scheme a success. Thank you all.

Photographs of Open Property Scheme events can be viewed via www.lfwseq.org.au/ops

Article by Deborah Metters

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