Habitat Stepping Stones - Stage 3
The Habitat Stepping Stones program is a partner in the IUCN's #NatureForAll global initiative and has been showcased a success story on their website.
If your council is not part of this award-winning program, tell them you want them to join!
Following the successfull Stage 1 and Stage 2 of this project, in 2016 the program was expanded into a self-sufficient model where Australian councils pay an annual subscription to belong. The program provides an innovative approach to encourage people to improve urban biodiversity. Visitors to the website find inspiring images and useful information for dozens of the most beautiful and beneficial food, water and shelter elements to include in their gardens to assist native wildlife.
Aspects of gamification include an easy 1-2-3 process: Discover-Pledge-Share. Visitors can make an online pledge to add three or more habitat elements to their own place to create a wildlife-friendly stopover, and they can choose to have a colourful bird added to their property on the online map to gain public recognition for their good work.
They also receive discounts from local suppliers and a Habitat Stepping Stone plaque for their front fence to gain more public recognition and increase awareness among their neighbours. The project includes a lively and supportive social media community where everyone can share their experiences and get lots of useful information such as local plants coming into flower and the arrival of migratory birds.
Finalist: 2016 Blue Star Sustainability Award for Habitat & Wildlife Guardianship
Winner: 2015 National Trust Heritage Award for Conservation of Natural Landscape
Finalist: 2015 UN World Environment Day Award for Sustainability Education
Evaluation of Stage 2 of this successful project has revealed that:
- 23% of visitors to the project website return to learn more.
- 44% of surveyed participants have already noticed more wildlife in their gardens.
- 49% said their experience in the project inspired them to take part in other wildlife and habitat projects.
- 88% reported an increased awareness of the important of habitat for urban wildlife.
- 98% are likely to continue to add habitat elements to their gardens or balconies.
Over 4,000 habitat elements have been pledged. In addition to that, another 20% of surveyed web visitors are using the information to create habitat stepping stones anyway, without making a pledge.
How it works for councils