Community-led environment conservation volunteer programs are gaining support across the Illawarra. Bushcare is one of the seven volunteer programs run by Wollongong Council to help restore natural vegetation.

The program offers free environmental workshops, events and training. Bushcare coordinators said the program encourages participants to be involved in the restoration of natural areas and dunes on community land.

In addition to Wollongong City Council initiatives, the Australian Government’s Green Army┬áprogram has encouraged young people to be hands-on in developing conservation strategies. The program started in 2014 and includes projects on re- vegetating river catchments, constructing boardwalks, pest animal management, monitoring threatened species and koala habitat restoration. Conservation Volunteers Australia is one of five Green Army service providers, and its activities in the Illawarra focus on wetlands.