How is Willow Warriors funded?

Willow warriors Programs are sponsored by:



Landcare Australia and Neutrogena® Naturals partnership


Over the last 25 years Landcare Australia (LAL) has developed a niche for brokering partnerships that balance the needs and concerns of corporate, government and community stakeholders while supporting local environmental and agricultural repair projects.  LAL distributes millions of dollars of funding and in-kind support to Landcare groups and farmers each year.  The aim of the Land care Australia and Neutrogena® Naturals partnership is to support Landcare, Coastcare and Beachcare groups working on and along various water ways, including both coastal and river systems to improve water quality. Indicative of an ongoing commitment to the environment, in 2012 Neutrogena® launched the brand new skincare range: Neutrogena® Naturals. Neutrogena® Naturals sees its partnership with Landcare Australia as another way the iconic skincare brand is helping to build a sustainable future.


Australia is home to one of the most diverse and unique coastal marine ecosystems on earth. The temperate east coast of Australia in particular has some of the highest numbers of species found nowhere else in the world. However, human impacts such as climate change, pollution, habitat loss and invasive species severely threaten the future of these ecosystems. Species that form complex habitats (e.g. seaweeds, mussel beds) are important drivers of biodiversity due to the large number of species that they harbour. Up to 90% of all coastal biodiversity in Australia can be found in these habitats. Therefore, the projects funded thru the Landcare Australia and Neutrogena® Naturals partnership, supports vital work in the area of coastal biodiversity conservation and water quality improvement outcomes.


The Neutrogena® Naturals funding aims to regenerate islands within Sydney Harbour by revegetating the riparian ecosystem by removing weeds, increasing natural regeneration within the area and planting a range of native seedlings to help improve the overall water quality. The project will support Willow Warriors and the regular volunteer group and provide tools and resources, volunteer training and support of Willow Warriors to carry out further volunteer activities along the Nepean River. 


Coca Cola Foundation and Landcare Australia


Regenerating waterways through comprehensive actions, the projects funded thru the Coca Cola Foundation and Landcare Australia apply innovative environmental management practices to ensure the cleanup, protection and regeneration of many valuable and threatened waterways across Australia. The Willow Warriors project will allow a sustained focus on a range of issues to support and protect the valuable work already achieved. Key focus areas are weed control and removal to allow water flow and source protection, riverbank cleanup, and planning activities of areas to “restock” native flora to protect sensitive riverbanks from degradation and decrease harmful salination. Coca Cola Foundation with Landcare Australia support watershed projects in a range of aquatic ecosystems and sites across Australia including rivers, streams, swamps, lakes, estuaries, and marine systems. 


The Greater Sydney Land Services (formerly know as  Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority (H-N CMA)) supports all Landcare groups in the Greater Sydney Region by organising and paying for Landcare insurance. This is a significant contribution to the landcare groups not just because they have organised a group insurance and so reduced the premium and then also paid the premium, but also because this reduces the administration burden on our volunteers. They all provide funding to helpwith replacing some of the kayakaing equipment when requested and funds are available.


Penrith Whitewater Stadium (PWS) is a significant corporate sponsor for the group. PWS assist the group with volunteer safety in two ways. They run whitewater awareness sessions for the group so that new volunteers can learn a little about whitewater water rafting and self rescue, they also get to experience paddling and swimming in whitewater so they can make an informed decision about participating in activities before going to remote locations only to find they are outside their comfort zone. Secondly they organise the rafting guides whom we hire from them when we are paddling higher grade sections of rivers. This logistical support not only eases the burden on our committee and activity leaders but also improves the safety for volunteers.

Previous Sponsors:

Be Natural provided a grant of $5,000 in 2011-12 to purchase tools & gloves, kayaking equipment and cover some administration costs which allowed us to start the program on goats island and run concurrent program on the Murrumbidgee River and the Nepean River and Goat Island in Sydney Harbour


The New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change through the Environmental Trust along with the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are the major sponsors of the Willow Warriors group.


They provided the funds for the "Willows Out of Wollemi" project, which was managed jointly by Friends of the Colo (FOC) and NPWS.

During this project over $30,000 was invested in whitewater equipment and treatment and mapping tools to carry out the work. The WOW project started with Willow treatment and has progressed to map, treat and monitor many other invasive weeds along the Colo River and it's tributaries within the Wollemi National Park. As the equipment is not needed every weekend by FOC and there is a close relationship between Willow Warriors and Friends of the Colo, Willow Warriors also uses, and makes additions to, the pool of equipment on willow control projects across New South Wales and the ACT.

The NSW Environmental Trust provided 2 grants to FOC 2001-2004 $84,000 and 2004-2007 $39,000.
In 2008 the New South Wales Environmental Trust approved a grant of $98,800 to Willow Warriors to implement a willow mapping and monitoring project across South East NSW. The funding will go to raising public awarenss arround the issues with invasive willows species, reimbursing volunteers travel costs, hiring river guides and keeping the stakeholders informed of our progress in mapping, monitoring and the treatment of the invasive willows. 

 The National Parks and Wildlife Service provided over $20,000 in seed money in 2000-2001 for the Willow out of Wollemi project the funds covering the costs to start the willow treatment, provide training and to purchase some equipment. NPWS also provides logistical support for the projects by assisting with access to NPWS estate, mapping tasks, storing the equipment and administering funds. NPWS hosts the Friends of the Colo nursery where they grow long stem native tubestock from local provenance seed for the Colo, Grose and Hawkesbury River catchments



 The Sydney Catchment Authority has provided $8,000 to fund the willow treatment project along the Wingecarribee and Wollondilly rivers with the focus on treating the Crack Willows in the Wallaby Rocks section of the river, downstream of Berrima township. The grant is to cover the costs of contacting landowners to gain consent for the work, reimburse volunteers travel costs to the treatment days and hire river guides to manage the on water safety. This section of river flows through a rocky, narrow and scenic gorge that provides very exciting whitewater rafting although the willows are straddling the river in several places.



The Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority (H-N CMA)  also funds specific projects to reimburse volunteers costs, and purchase Roundup and tools or to hire contractors. In addition the H-N CMA approved and helped manage a grant we had from Caring for Our Country for $22,000 for the Maintaining Our Hawkesbury Restoration Along with a Landcare Grant this purchased a trailer and 6 double kayaks plus paddles and Life jackets and additinal tools. this program was to support other landcare groups on their sites along the hawkesbury river. This did not receive the number of volunteers that would allow us to continue with the balck willow program and also support the other groups but as the black willow works winds down we will resume the program to support other landcare groups.



The Hawkesbury City Council, Tumut Shire Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council have also supported the group by assisting us with contacting landowners and providing access to council managed land.


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