Getting out and about in western Victoria this June

Getting out and about in western Victoria this June

The financial year has certainly rounded out with a bang for getting around and talking to people about what we’ve been up to at NGT. Last week I was invited to talk at a Victorian Volcanic Plains Research and Development Forum, hosted by Corangamite CMA and held at Federation University in Ballarat. It was a real privilege to speak amongst a list of fine presenters and within a range of great topics. I spoke about our wetland hydrology restoration projects with an aim to promote the concept that sometimes the fixes are pretty simple.

This week we have been very busy running a pop-up wetland at Warrnambool’s Fun4Kids festival. This is a wonderful and globally unique festival for children with a range of activities ranging from creative thinking zones to the more hands on areas, plus lots of theatrical entertainment. Nature Glenelg Bug World has brought something different to the festival this year and has been a real hit. Flanked by a mural created by a local artist to depict Warrnambool’s, Lake Pertobe, the zone has a series of ponds containing a suite of macroinvertebrates which change daily based on where we collect bugs from in the morning. Children have been inspired by their discoveries and this is being reflected by growing decoration of the mural. We have also run some novel craft activities to help feed passive uptake of the importance of wetlands to our daily lives. There have certainly been some inspiring young wetland ecologists coming through with lots of children making repeat visits throughout the week and often spending one to two hours cataloguing the daily collection. The festival winds up on Saturday.  Check out this video for a preview of the action.

A handmade stick caddis (left) and the wetland mural filling up (right) at Warrnambool’s Fun4Kids Festival.

Lauren and myself were also on-board to speak about Nature Glenelg’s wetland restoration work and community engagement activities at Warrnambool’s Green Pecha Kucha Night last Thursday. This was modeled as a fast, fun and interactive way for environmentally minded people to get together and share ideas and celebrate achievements where local enviro group representatives gave a short (six minute) overview of their groups and activities in the region. It was another great opportunity to meet our fellow environmental workers and really drove home how active environmental efforts are in the region.

After a busy few months with our on-ground projects it has been really nice to reconnect and showcase what we do, to a wider audience.

Lachlan Farrington