Melton residents are being encouraged to make their community contributions second nature.

A 10-week Nature Stewards pilot program, run by Outdoors Victoria, is aimed at getting participants outdoors and volunteering.

Melton Environment Group president Daryl Akers is urging residents to roll their sleeves up and muck in.

“Nature Stewards will introduce you to local and wider Victorian ecosystems and natural places, and will cover topics such as plants and animals, rocks and soils, climate and seasons,” he said.

“It’s important that people learn about how they can care for our environment because it’s under threat.

“The local environment is constantly being diminished, particularly with all the development that’s happening around the municipality.

“There are various groups out there that depend on volunteers – for example the Pinkerton Landcare and Environment group that is creating a new forest on a vacant block of land. Without volunteers, much less work gets done.”

The Nature Stewards program, open to anyone aged 18 or above and living in Melton, has 20 available places.

Melton deputy mayor Lara Carli said the program was an opportunity for people to meet others and connect with nature.

“If your New Year’s resolution involves spending more time with nature, then the Nature Stewards program is the perfect opportunity to make it a reality,” she said.

Melton council is subsidising half the course fees.

“I strongly encourage residents to sign up and discover the wonder of their own backyard by participating in this exciting program,”
Cr Carli said.

The Nature Stewards program will run on Saturdays between 9.30am and noon from March 16 to May 25 at the Melton Library and Learning Hub. Applications close this Friday (February 1).