Ever been on a walk and wanted to know more about the surrounding plants? Now at the Waite Conservation Reserve (located at the University of Adelaide Waite Campus) a new app provides access to research and knowledge of the local flora. Find out how a Grassroots Grant supported this incredible way to engage in nature.

Screenshots of a conservation app

The 121 hectare Waite Conservation Reserve is the largest and best preserved remnant Grey Box Grassy Woodland, a nationally endangered ecological community, in South Australia.

It’s a hidden gem only 6kms from the Adelaide CBD, and open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.

We caught up with Dr Kate Delaporte, curator of the Waite Arboretum to hear how a Grassroots Grant helped this app come to life.

“It’s been a challenge previously to show visitors the true value of the site from a conservation perspective,” said Kate.

The Waite Reserve App provides the community with a free source of information on the Waite Conservation Reserve at their fingertips.

This App can be utilised while users are walking through the reserve, so they can immediately connect with sites and features, and engage with nature and understand the inhabitants more deeply.

Why is this grant project important?

The Waite Reserve is a valuable place for research and teaching, with trails that feature interpretive signs that describe flora, fauna and geology, as well as the work being done to conserve and restore the land.

The Waite Conservation Reserve App has been designed to amplify this learning for visitors in an easy and accessible way. Over time, a huge amount of information has been collected about the animals and plants onsite, and the Waite Reserve App has all this data in one place. And it’s free to download!

There are interactive maps with features that enrich visitor experience, foster a connection with nature, and promote community wellbeing.

“The App also includes Kaurna language as part of a broader reconciliation project, and acknowledges the Kaurna people as the original custodians of the land,” Dr Kate Delaporte said.

Part of honouring this deep connection to Country means that in key locations throughout the reserve, the Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi team provided voice recordings of the Kaurna names for different flora and fauna.

Screenshot of an app showing a map and walking trials

How did the grassroots grant help?

The Grassroots Grant supported the final stages of development of the Waite Reserve App, and enabled it to remain free to the public.

Funding from the grant also contributed to the involvement of Kaurna people to develop the inclusion of Kaurna language – including the smoking ceremony by Uncle Fred Agius during the App launch.

How did the project improve the environment for the community?

The interactive trail features of the App ensure that visitors can navigate the terrain safely through location tracking. And even more importantly, it is a chance for nature lovers to learn about the Kaurna connections to Country.

In addition, Kate said, “The App can also be used anywhere in the world, to connect with the reserve through images and information.”

Any advice for future applicants?

In reflecting on the grant, Kate said she would encourage others to consider how their environmental project could be enhanced with the support of a grant.

“Have a go at applying for a grant!” Kate said.

“Our experience with the Green Adelaide team was rewarding and supportive. Being a little left of field, we weren’t sure if our project would fit the criteria, but we worked together with the team to ensure there was an excellent outcome for everyone.”

“Without the funding, we would not have completed the Waite Reserve App. So the support from the Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant was essential,” Kate said.

Learn more about the app.

Or, back to Grant Stories.

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