NaturallyGC popularity helping to support our natural city

Published on 16 November 2023

Mayor Tom Tate with NaturallyGC participants

The City of Gold Coast’s NaturallyGC program is seeking ways to expand its free and low-cost community workshops due to increased demand for hands-on biodiversity experiences.

The program which began in 2008 started with just nine workshops and 560 participants and has expanded significantly in 2022-23 to 236 workshops and 17,913 participants.

When the program started there were 6580 trees planted in the first year, which increased to 52,834 last financial year.

With workshops booking out quickly, the City is exploring options to expand NaturallyGC’s workshops.

“NaturallyGC is celebrating 15 years connecting the community with the environment and increasing public understanding of the Gold Coast’s natural environment,” said Mayor Tom Tate.

“Over the next decade, the City of Gold Coast is dedicated to taking further measures to restore our environment and protect our wildlife.

“Community involvement is an integral part of making that happen.”

Suggestions for more nature-based recreation opportunities included guided hikes, kayaking tours, snorkelling, nature art courses and environmental education.

NaturallyGC currently includes nature photography, nocturnal wildlife spotting, monitoring fauna populations, kids’ wildlife encounters, research, rescue and rehabilitation programs, koala tree planting and indigenous culture experiences.

“The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most biodiverse cities with over 3000 native animal species and around 2500 native plant species – there is so much to explore and discover," Mayor Tate added.

“NaturallyGC gives people an improved knowledge of the environment as well as a sense of achievement and the chance to be out and about making new friends.”

Along with community involvement, external environmental partners play an integral role in delivering the NaturallyGC workshops each year.

2022-23 NaturallyGC program achievements:

  • 236 NaturallyGC educations workshops held
  • 99 Citizen Science and Landcare activities
  • 17.913 NaturallyGC and Landcare participants
  • 52,834 trees planted
  • 4845 volunteer hours contributed
  • 49 environmental partners