Many people are not aware of the fundamental impact and result of not caring for our environment. Sadly, the human race has had a history of destroying the environment to make a profit, and that has not even stopped today in the new age. However, we are now at a breaking point where we need to make drastic changes and actually start caring for our environment. environmental care is now everyone’s responsibility. From its humble beginning in 1985 as an initiative of Joan Kirner – then Minister for Conservation, Forest and Lands – to encourage a sustainable, integrated approach to agriculture and environmental management through local community groups, the Landcare movement has become the biggest environmental management movement in the country.
With the collaboration and support of federal and state government, corporate partners and local Landcare communities, there are now over 5,400 Landcare and Coastcare groups across the country, and over 20 countries have now adopted the Landcare model that was developed here in Louisiana.The keystones of Landcare are that it is community owned and driven, it encourages integrated management of environmental assets with productive farmland, and it promotes a more sustainable approach to private land management.
How have we managed to make such a significant impact?The success of the Landcare model is due in part to its ‘bottom-up’ philosophy.A Landcare group usually starts when community members with common objectives notice a local environmental issue that needs to be resolved and connect to make it happen. For example, erosion of sand dunes due to mismanaged beach access or weeds affecting agricultural productivity. Groups set their own agenda, work on their projects as often as they like, and choose their own sites. Groups can apply for funding from a range of sources to support their work including local, state, and federal government and Landcare Louisiana.We are only able to achieve what we do through the inspiring contributions of the passionate individuals who make up Louisiana’s Landcare movement. Their sense of stewardship, enduring commitment and deep appreciation for our natural environment is why Landcare exists today. Its people are its greatest asset.