Challenging situations can bring out the best in people. That has certainly been the case with Victorians in the face of the bushfire emergency that has devastated our wildlife, communities and environment this summer.

We’ve come up with 7 ways you can help nature recover. Please play your part by trying one or two - or more!

1. Keep your pets under control and away from native wildlife

After bushfires, many of our native animals are especially vulnerable because with less vegetation to hide amongst, it’s easier for introduced predators to find them.

Keeping our pet cats and dogs controlled and contained is always important. It’s even more crucial after bushfires.

2. Choose native plant species for your garden

What could be better than having a garden that’s a haven for wildlife? By planting native species at home, you’re creating a safe place for wildlife whose habitat has been destroyed by bushfires.

You may also be able to grow threatened plant species affected by bushfires, increasing their chances of survival. Find out more through Sustainable Gardening Australia or the Gardens for Wildlife program.

3. Volunteer time for activities that take care of the environment

Nature needs all the help it can get after bushfires. By volunteering you can play an important role in bushfire recovery. Check out our interactive volunteering map for opportunities near you. If you subscribe to our volunteering for nature newsletter (type SUBSCRIBE in the subject field) we will let you know of specific programs targeting bushfire affected areas in the coming weeks and months.

Getting mother nature back on her feet is a long game and she really will need your help.

A lot of very generous people have offered their time and support to help wildlife injured by the bushfires. This kind of volunteering is specialised and for the time being, no further wildlife volunteer support is required. Thank you for reaching out.

4. Become a citizen scientist and make a meaningful contribution to recovery

Information is vital to understanding how our environment has been affected by the fires and how we respond. You can collect this information and share it with the experts, which will help us help nature recover and contribute to future prevention.

There are specific post-fires citizen science projects you can be part of. SWIFFT and the Australian Citizen Science Association also have a range of projects they need your help on.

5. Inspire others with your passion for the environment

Being an advocate for the environment can help build understanding and inspire others to act. This can be as simple as talking to your family, friends and local community about nature’s beauty and importance and what we can all do to help the bushfire recovery. When we face challenges, like intense bushfires, people are listening, and your advocacy is likely to have greater impact.

6. Love spending time in nature

Spending time in nature is enjoyable and great for our health and wellbeing. Given the bushfires, many of us have missed out on spending as much time in our parks and forests as we’d like.

While some of our national parks are closed, the good news is, many haven’t been affected by the bushfires and remain open.

If you want to visit a state forest, download our More to Explore app. It has maps and up to date information about closures.

As well as enjoying Victoria’s magnificent landscapes, stop off for a bite to eat or stay a while at a nearby town. You’ll be giving local economies a much-needed boost, particularly those nearer the fire grounds.

Please remember that when in nature, your personal safety is your responsibility. Keep informed about the weather and any bushfire warnings.

7. Do your bit to keep our natural landscapes clean and safe 

When you’re out in nature remember to ‘leave no trace’.

We share Victoria’s natural beauty with many unique native plants and animals. Please protect them and their habitat when you’re enjoying nature.

That means:

  • Keep updated on fire bans and follow fire ban rules.
  • Don't leave any litter behind.
  • If campfires are allowed follow the safe campfire rules.
  • Respect the wildlife, plants and Traditional Owners' cultural sites.

Together, all of us taking positive action – big or small - can make a huge difference for nature and how our environment rebounds from the bushfire emergency.

Page last updated: 27/07/20