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Our stories -
- promoting community-based natural resource management
- supporting our Landcare networks
- building partnerships
To further its mission of promoting community-based natural resource management, servicing its member Landcare networks and building partnerships Landcare NSW secured funding in the latter half of 2008 to implement a series of regional trainings of community, CMA and agency representatives in the use of PlaceStories software in each NRM region across the state. To implement this training Landcare NSW collaborated with Feral Arts (the software’s developer) and TAFE.
Conduct of the 13 regional trainings (completed with two-day training workshops in both Murray and Lower Murray Darling early February) proved that PlaceStories software is indeed simple and easy-to-learn. Individual landholders and trainees from CMAs, agency and ‘care’ groups were each quickly enabled to use 20 to 30 digital photos, a narration track and background music track to prepare a 2 to 3 minute digital story of their project. Some trainees arrived “unable to use the mouse” and by day’s end proudly produced their digital project story for locating on Google Map and uploading to their regional website.
Each PlaceStories story can also be saved onto a USB, burnt to CD or DVD for replay on computer or television. On uploading to the web a story can be kept “private” (to be viewed only by those members nominated by the story’s creator) or, if the creator so decides, made “public” for the world to view (once approved by the nominated administrator for that regional PlaceStories website).
PlaceStories enables easy and widespread exposure of the many Landcare and other community environmental projects of which we were all previously unaware. It enables easy connection between a story’s author and others implementing similar projects or otherwise interested in that subject matter. PlaceStories provides a practical medium for sharing and publicizing best management practices, innovations and lessons learned. PlaceStories make ideal extension materials for trainings and field days.
Cognisant of the power of the PlaceStories format to communicate clearly and briefly, a number of projects are including a CD with their PlacesStories story as a component of their final report. PlaceStories also provide a great “opener” when approaching a potential corporate sponsor (or CMA board) with a project proposal.
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As a result of the initial Landcare NSW project there are increasing numbers of stories on each regional website and/or on the Landcare NSW PlaceStories website. PlaceStories is becoming a vehicle for LNSW to promote community Landcare, link NRM networks and groups and share experiences.
In a wave of increasing interest in PlaceStories:
- The Hunter Central Rivers CMA recently adopted PlaceStories as the format for its upcoming ‘Champions of the Catchment’ Awards. Last month LNSW and TAFE again teamed up to conduct 4 one-day trainings for would-be Champion applicants at Tocal, Taree, Muswellbrook & Gosford.
- Other Landcare networks and groups (e.g. Richmond Landcare, Central Tablelands Landcare, Central West NRM Working Group, Western Landcare Steering Committee, Murrumbidgee Landcare) are requesting additional trainings for land managers.
- Other CMAs are seeking further PlaceStories training for staff and plan to use it to capture and promote their own Catchment Champions (e.g. Southern Rivers and Central West) and build up a stock of extension and training materials wherein landholders demonstrate the range of NRM best management practices pertinent to catchment targets.
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