Monday, April 22, 2013

minibeasts mesmerize

I was delighted to be able to launch the Birdsland Environmental Gardening Group, also known as the BeeGees as part of the second Minibeast Festival at Birdsland.

To celebrate the launch I planted a lemon tree, no home
should be without one! Pictured left to right: Vicki Boyle -
Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group, Gavin - Yarra
Ranges Council and Cr Samantha Dunn - Lyster Ward.
The BeeGees is intended to teach kids and their parents about growing food, the importance of a healthy environment and have fun doing it too. It’s aimed at children of all ages and it’s great to see the education centre gardens at Birdsland being used to demonstrate the backyard gardening.

Parks Victoria had a great display of native animals, Ranger
Andrew Van Vloten delighting kids with the Wedge Tailed
Eagle display.
Events offered as part of the Minibeast Festival included water watch, discovering all the mini beasts that live in healthy waterways. Melbourne Water also had a great interactive display to explain what happens with water runoff in the city versus the forests. There were nest box displays, talks on a Monbulk Creek local, the platypus and a waste tour were kids were taken into the depths of the tip.

Glenn Brooks-McMillan is our resident expert on platypus,
he capitvated young and old alike with his presentation
on one of our cutest locals, the platypus.

Kids had a great time turning into scientists undertaking investigations into exactly what creatures they’d discovered in the Monbulk Creek water.

Local artist Glenn Scolyer was there for a lantern parade workshop, a very popular activity, Glenn was run off his feet helping kids with their lanterns (the lantern parade will be held in Belgrave on Saturday 22 June – on facebook here).
Glenn's lantern making skills are extraordinary, this
Sherbrooke Amphipod is an amazing replica, although
a little larger than the real thing!
Glenn is currently working on his own lantern the very special, endemic to the Dandenongs, Sherbrooke Amphipod. The Sherbrooke Amphipod has been listed as a threatened species in the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The amphipod has a very restricted distribution in Victoria only occurring in the Dandenong Ranges.

Belgrave Pre School supplied the catering, doing a roaring trade on the sausage sizzle and of course the Southern Dandenong Ranges Community Nursery were a key participant giving every child a free indigenous plant to take home. Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group were out in force, raising awareness about weeds, the environment and domestic cats and their harm to the environment if not well managed.

The always breathtaking, wedge tailed eagle. The live locally
and are an impressive sight, it was terrific to see this
one fly by as part of the festival.

It was a great collaboration between volunteers, agencies, community groups and council and I thank everyone who volunteered their time to make it a great day out at one of the shire’s key conservation reserves.

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