Activities to raise awareness about weeds, why they are a problem, and what people can do is really important if you want people to take action in their local areas.
Some ideas for raising awareness
- A community weedbusting event: Hold a community Weedbusting event at your local reserve, park, stream, wetland or beach. Make sure you provide tools, spare gloves and refreshments. Don’t forget to promote the event, thank all the participants and publicise the results.
- Weeds Awareness Campaign: Teach your local community or target group all about weeds. Topics can include weed identification, impacts, prevention and control. Methods may include any of the awareness raising ideas mentioned in this section, plus:
- Distributing posters, brochures and flyers.
- Inviting a local weed or specialist speaker to talk to your community or school about the effect of weeds on our environment.
- Discussing weeds and Weedbusters in your school or group newsletter. Contact the principal of your local primary and secondary school.
- Writing a Letter to the Editor.
- Talking about weeds on the radio.
- Plant swaps: Offer an incentive for people to remove weeds by providing a replacement native plant.
- Public meeting & information session: This could be a public meeting (make sure its well advertised) or a presentation for an existing group (e.g. gardening groups, tramping clubs, rotary, Forest & Bird branches, Landcare Groups).
- Have a weeds display: Make a display with posters, fact sheets and sample plants and set-up in a visual location with plenty of local traffic, e.g. libraries, shopping malls, agricultural shows, gardening shows, garden and nursery centres. Contact Weedbusters Near You for assistance with promotional materials.
- Organise a Weed Walk: Get an expert to give a group tour through a weedy area or a restoration site. This can be a great way to learn to recognise weeds.
- Family fun day: A perfect way to get families involved. Include activities such as a BBQ, guest speaker, tree planting, games and promotional giveaways.
- Weed of the month: Promote a weed of the month, either through a local newspaper, magazine, council, community notice board or library.
- Promote weeds issues during related events: e.g. World Wetland Day, Arbor Day, Conservation Week.
Source: Weedbusters Australia
- Work together with other organisations, groups and individuals when possible - spread the load!
- Know your community and match your approach accordingly.
- Incentives can help.
- Put your heart and soul into it.
- Provide the whole weed picture - what it is, why it’s a problem, how to get rid of it, what to use in its place.
- Don’t expect too much too soon. Public awareness can be a slow process, especially in the early stages when you’re trying to ‘create a buzz’.
- Don’t expect action to necessarily follow awareness. Providing information will seldom be enough if you want people to change any current behaviour. Think about what you want people to do and then address what the barriers are that are stopping people from doing it.