Project Description:

Connecting communities with nature will showcase how a collaborative human centred design process strengthens engagement in project development & participation. With this approach we will learn how the local community connects with nature, identify local aspirations, and develop & implement prototype ideas to deepen nature based experience opportunities for locals & residents. This project will partner with a NFP environmental group, local council and local schools to deliver.

Advocating for Engagement:

This project will provide a best practice example of how an environmentally focused community group, Council & school can work collaboratively to engage local residents & students about their aspirations for their neighbourhood to enhance opportunities for people to learn about & connect with nature. The project will be based on the principles of human centred design, an engagement process that deeply connects with the people you are designing solutions for. The process & insights gained will be shared widely among Council & NGO networks within South Australia & interstate, as a positive example of the adoption of human centred design engagement principles in a collaborative, cross sector community engagement project. The SA Government has announced it will be establishing a new body, Green Adelaide; and this project will offer an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how a deep & collaborative co-design process can strengthen community connections with nature & enhance wellbeing.

Strengthening Engagement Networks:

Our environmental group has strong relationships with the biodiversity teams of around 20 Councils in South Australia, and we are looking to deepen these relationships in order to broaden our connections with local communities and engage more people in nature based activities. This project will be an excellent opportunity to work closely with the local council’s community engagement team; and take the lessons learnt into our other Council partnerships. There is an enormous untapped opportunity for environment NGOs to work more closely with Local Government in order to connect with a wider audience. This must be underpinned by sound knowledge and practice of effective engagement principles and practices. The project will also provide an opportunity to prototype an engagement process involving a local primary school; providing an opportunity for the school community to connect meaningfully with the local community on an environmental initiative that goes beyond tree planting.

Advocating Professional Development:

This project builds on a 10 month co-design process already undertaken that has been delivered in partnership with two other Councils in South Australia, with training and mentorship from The Australian Centre For Social Innovation (TACSI) and Hinterland. Growing Communities has developed the capacity of staff to design & deliver human centred design research & prototyping activities. We are keen to take this further. We are embarking on a strategy to deepen our relationships with Councils in order to connect more widely with the community. This project provides us an opportunity to deepen our engagement networks & professional experience of applying human centred design by working with a school, community centre & Council. We will be supported through professional mentoring from Hinterland consulting. The project will also enable us to share more widely our experiences with human centred design with staff from State & Local Government and other community organisations.


Staff time: $6600

Mentoring and professional development from Hinterland: $3800

Project materials (to implement prototype experiences): $3500

Communication materials: $1000

TOTAL: $14,900

In-kind $4000