Environmental groups from across the region will meet to discuss their concerns and hopes for the future at an event this weekend.
Co-hosted by the Ballarat Environment Network and the Victorian Environmental Friends Network, the regional networking event is being hosted for volunteer environmental groups from across the Central Highlands.
Event coordinator Cherie Draper said an event such as this was something local groups had desired for a while, and would be a chance for groups from across the wider region to discuss common issues.
One issue which has been raised in the past includes attracting volunteers to join and then managing those volunteers.
"These groups are all made up of volunteers working with and managing other volunteers. So there can be a sense of burnout and people struggling to have enough time to do things and to sustain the workload over time," she said.
Ms Draper has been busy arranging the speakers for the day, which will include Hepburn Shire Council's Biodiversity Officer Brian Bainbridge as well as the City of Ballarat's new Sustainable Environment Officer, Daniel Siemensma.
She said many positive initiatives had been taking place in Hepburn so the event would be an opportunity for other groups to hear about what was occurring there to inspire them with opportunities about ways they can improve and enhance community partnerships with their respective councils.
So far 25 different groups working in a range of areas such as landcare and friends groups to others working in schools with pupils, raising awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment and others promoting the provision of natural habitat in backyards have registered to attend.
"It will be a good opportunity for people to think about different ideas," Ms Draper said.
With recent fires ravaging parts of Victoria, Ms Draper said conversations had been triggered about climate change, with communities rallying to support the recovery effort by making nesting boxes and now was the time to continue a bigger conversation.
She hopes people will walk away from the event with a sense of what is being achieved across the landscape and that they will have formed positive connections with other groups.
"There are a lot of positive and inspiring things going on," Ms Draper said.
"I hope groups walk away with a sense of empowerment and learn about good opportunities that can be followed up on."
Ms Draper will formulate a report that will capture the groups and presentations that will occur, and the sorts of issues and ideas that are proposed.
This could turn into a training day about a particular topic or issue that has been identified in future.
The free event will be hosted on Saturday, February 29 at Ballarat Tech School from 9.45am.
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