One of the reasons Toowoomba residents and visitors can enjoy our escarpment parks today is largely thanks to the dedication and passion of a small band of volunteers who undertake regular weeding and maintenance in 14 bushland parks on the Toowoomba escarpment. 

Volunteering arrangements are very flexible – some people volunteer for a few hours once a month and others choose to work more hours. Park schedules and coordinator contact details can be found on the park care page. Click here for a comprehensive guide to volunteering with FEP.

The volunteers come from all walks of life, and all speak enthusiastically of the pleasure they get from seeing the weeds disappear and the native flora and fauna return. They enjoy the outdoors and the camaraderie that comes from working with like-minded people. Many speak of the improvement in their fitness and say that age is no barrier to outdoor activity and companionship. Several volunteers are in their eighties. Read more about some of them below.

“The other positives, of course, are the benefits to our physical and mental health and the opportunity to meet like-minded people who care for our environment. “I love it,” Shirley says.

You could volunteer

If you enjoy walking and relaxing in our native Australian bushland, you could volunteer to assist in a park. You will be welcome to assist a park care group for as much or as little time as you can manage.

You do NOT need to be an FEP member to volunteer but you are welcome to join if you would like to support our work.

Check the Our Parks and Park Care pages to identify a park where the location and schedule suit you. Contact the coordinator in case the schedule may have changed.

A little about some volunteers

Coral commenced volunteering 25 years ago in bushland parks in Victoria. She has travelled to Central Australia with a team and now volunteers in six Toowoomba bushland parks. “This is my way to contribute towards saving the environment,” Coral says. 

Brian, a resident at the Endeavour Foundation, has been volunteering weekly at two parks for 10 years.

Greg hates weeds and believes that you should be able to walk through a park without getting cobbler’s pegs in your socks. An active volunteer, Greg works in five parks each month. To make digging the weeds easier, Greg modified a shovel to make a ground penetrating shovel, a modification that has since been adopted by other members of FEP. 

Recently retired, Terri now has time to volunteer in three bushland parks and feels that she has found her tribe. She loves working with like-minded people and hopes to leave a legacy for future generations. “It’s a good way to exercise,” Terri says, as she hates being stuck inside in the gym. “Caring for bushland is a lovely useful way spend time in the open air.” 

Bev says she volunteers because of concern about a changing climate and also in gratitude for the fact of a native forest in the middle of suburbia. “It is a lovely place to work and I am doing a bit towards a healthier and greener environment. I have been volunteering in places like this for about 10 years.” 

Shirley has deep love and respect for our Australian wildlife and bushland. She has been volunteering at Hancock Street Park for four years. “I feel by being a bushland worker in the park I am doing my bit for the environment to help it heal. By ridding this tiny patch of bushland of feral introduced plants we are assisting with the regeneration of our native species. 

“Apart from removing weeds and revegetation plantings, there are other roles enjoyed by our volunteers such as monitoring and collecting data on the fauna and flora, campaigning for the enhancement of the parks and helping with promotional activities such as the Park Open Days”.