Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Kids Environmental Education event – windy but really fun!

Posted on 14 March, 2013 by Connecting Country

Twenty-five budding naturalists and their parents joined Connecting Country staff and volunteers for a series of three environmental education workshops in the evening of March 1st at Vaughan Springs.

The workshops were intended to increase interest and knowledge of the natural world in our young people – and maybe even some parents too. Brendan Smith from Parks Victoria ran a workshop on some of the creatures found in the Loddon River. Wearing waders and a using kick net (or a pool net that was very scientifically kicked along the bottom of the stream), an amazing diversity of macro invertebrate life forms was detected. Brendan then showed the kids how these samples provide an indicator of stream health according to their vulnerability to disturbances such as pollution. From what we found, it looks like the Upper Loddon is in pretty good shape at the moment! Brendan’s equipment was kindly supplied by the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

Next was Elaine Bayes from Rakali Ecological Consulting, who led the kids through some streamside vegetation, discussing what might live where – and finding out! They learned how to carefully uncover, handle and replace animals such as frogs and yabbies. Life skills for anyone really, and a place to channel undirected curiosity and energy!

For the final presentation, Mark from Tooko Wildlife Displays gave kids the opportunity to handle live pythons, pat a dingo, and learn about a range of other Australian animals. There was great excitement as Mark’s tame Sulphur Crested Cockatoo ‘Elliot’ competed for the limelight with Mark while he spoke about the different creatures on display. Kids left the talk knowing that tortoises breath through their behinds and if a snake is shiny, it has probably just left it’s skin somewhere nearby.

Volunteers cooked up a yummy BBQ dinner as we sat together and enjoyed the end of the week at Vaughan Springs.

The Nature Discovery Afternoon for Kids was part of Connecting Country’s 2013 Education Program. An upcoming event in the program is a talk on designing wildlife corridors in Elphinstone on 10th April (by Dr Rodney van der Ree and representatives from the Superb Parrot Project). Follow this link to the Education Program 2013  web-page for more details.

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