Backyard Habitat Review
What are the effective elements of a comprehensive council backyard native flora and fauna habitat program?
This project, commissioned by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group reviewed 18 council programs plus three external ones to determine their relative effectiveness.
It involved a comprehensive literature review to generate materials for a critical incident analysis of potential criteria, testing the criteria with an expert reference group, then devising quesitons that were sufficiently broad to allow programs to be described alongside the developed criteria. A survey and interviews were conducted with council and external program officers to collect the data which were then collated in the report.
The report includes a summary of the various programs plus a matrix which compares their offerings.An online evaluation tool was also created as part of this project.
Summary list of recommendations
1: All programs should aim to measure native fauna habitat improvement.
2: All programs should have an accurate and up to date database of participants.
3: There should be a long-term commitment to these programs.
4: All programs should have a formal design with clear and stated objectives and rationales that are appropriate to and negotiated with the community.
5: Marketing for these programs should use multiple methods and channels to generate recognition, focusing on face to face presentation and direct marketing.
6: Links to external programs should be made to leverage their existing social media progress, rather than councils endeavouring to create their own.
7: Marketing for habitat creation programs should use aspects of flora and fauna that are ‘easy’ for community to engage with, or currently of interest.
8: Officers of habitat-creation programs should be provided with substantial training in skills that may be a gap for them, i.e. Marketing, Persuasion, Making your Case to Management.
9: Specific connections on objectives should made between backyard habitat programs and the Connected Corridors project.
The Steering Group for this project comprised representatives from: