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Nature-led Community Recovery Grants

Nature-led Community Recovery Grants

$0 - $5,000
Not-for-profit groups, individuals

About the grant program

Zoos Victoria has partnered with ERV to lead the Bushfire Recovery Grants for Nature-led Community Recovery Program.

The Nature-led Community Recovery Program aims to support both the recovery of Victoria’s biodiversity and communities recovering from the Victorian 2019-20 fires.

Grants are available for projects that deliver on-ground action for recovering wildlife and habitats as well as educational or arts programs connecting environmental recovery with human recovery.

The total funding available for this program is $90,000.


The objective, based on the recognised benefits of people’s connectedness to nature, is to facilitate people’s recovery within 2019-20 fire-affected communities through meaningful activities consistent with biodiversity conservation, and which allow witnessing of nature recovery. Intended benefits include:

  • increased understanding of environmental fire recovery in currently affected communities. Improved community understanding of succession and threats to natural recovery
  • people contributing to meaningful, effective actions to support local, place-based natural values recovery
  • increased visitation and boost to regional economies in fire-affected areas through volunteering opportunities.
  • improved advocacy for nature by all Victorians
  • people’s recovery along with their environment’s recovery.

Applicants can apply for grants up to $5,000

Examples of projects that could be supported include:

  • a Municipal Recovery group seeks funding to conduct an activity to highlight possible nature-based community recovery. Regular Recovery Walks through nature which is accessible to all sectors of the community, becoming embedded in regular community events; establishing interpretive trails that tell a story of community and forest recovery
  • a local community hub/group wishing to advance a project to protect native species or environments: creating artwork to raise awareness or sponsoring a specific activity to reduce threats (nest boxes, fencing, captive release, insurance population, etc)
  • a local community wishing to create spaces for individual reflection, connection and appreciation of native wildlife or natural environments
  • a local group wanting to establish meaningful citizen science to track the recovery of local species and share the results with the wider community.

Grants cannot be used for:

  • offsetting of salaries, operating costs for existing staff or contractors
  • feasibility studies, business plans, cost-benefit analysis and economic impact studies
  • projects that may have a negative impact on existing businesses/services
  • passing on funding to a third party in the form of sponsorship or grant
  • retrospective funding for projects that have commenced activity.
Apply now
  1. Timeline

    31 March 2021 to 01 June 2022


  • To be eligible, an organisation can be either:

    • a community, not for profit or Aboriginal organisation that is an incorporated legal entity under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2001 (Vic) or the Corporation (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth), or
    • a social enterprise with a clearly stated purpose or mission-related specifically to supporting bushfire recovery
    • a local school
    • an auspice organisation managing a grant on behalf of an applicant – see Auspice Organisations

    Who can't apply

    The following organisations cannot apply through this program:

    • state and federal government departments and agencies
    • individuals and sole traders
    • fixed trusts
    • commercial enterprises (however they can partner with an organisation as a sponsor and only provide contributions)
    • Local Government Authorities (LGAs) including LGA managed, operated, administered and regulated trusts (however they can act as an auspice)
    • registered TAFE institutes and universities (however they can act as an auspice).

    Auspice Organisations

    If your group or organisation is not an incorporated legal entity and/or does not have a valid Australian Business Number, you can still apply with the support of an eligible auspice organisation. An auspice is an organisation that manages grant funding on your behalf. For the purpose of the funding agreement, Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV) may liaise with the auspice organisation. See ERV guidelines for more information.

    The following organisations can act as an auspice organisation:

    • Local Government Authorities (LGAs) including LGA managed, operated, administered and regulated trusts
    • registered primary and secondary schools, preschools, TAFE institutes and universities
    • not-for-profit organisations e.g. Lions, Rotary clubs.
  • Purpose

    Applicants are required to provide an explanation of how their project will deliver direct benefit to a bushfire affected community and supports one or more of the Nature-led Community Recovery objectives.

    Community Participation

    Applicants are asked to demonstrate how the project will:

    • be used by the community
    • be accessible to the community
    • be promoted to the community.


    It is expected that applicants demonstrate that their project is in an area impacted by the 2019-20 Victorian Bushfires, specifically in the North East and East Gippsland regions.


    Applicants should provide simple evidence to show that:

    • Costs are accurate and reasonable
    • Include any in-kind or co-contribution funding support
  • Applications received will be assessed against the criteria as outlined in the table below.

    Assessment Criteria Weighting
    The Project shows clear benefits or relationships to a native species or the natural environment and the community 50%
    The project demonstrates the potential to provide legacy improvements and awareness for the environment 30%
    Community participation and accessibility 20%
  • Apply now by visiting the grants portalExternal Link . If you are new to the portal you will need to make a profile and log in.

Reviewed 16 October 2022