Sunday, 29 August 2010

LandCare Day

Today LandCare day was celebrated at the Botanic Gardens - this year the theme was 'Kids make a difference in your back yard'.  A council officer had organised a competition amongst the local school children to make a picture using just recycled materials which would have a message about saving ourGreat Barrier Reef.  This entry only won second prize, but I liked it much better than than the first prize entry.  There were some very clever entries, but no room to show them all here.
This was a fun activity for the kids of all different ages.  There were lots of laminated photos of reef fish and crabs, all different sizes, each with a magnet glued to the backof the page near the mouth. Thekids had fishing lines with magnets on the end and of course they had to 'fish' with these.  The base cloth was marked out in colour zones, just like the reef waters maps are.  Once a fish was caught, they identified (or an adult did) the fish name (typed on the back).  then the fish had to be measured.

Hamish is a picture of concentration measuring his fish.  Next a chart was consulted, his fish was too small so had to be thrown back.  Some of the fish were protected species so had to be thrown back anyway.  A great way to teach the children the rules, and talk about preservation ofspecies.
Bunnings, our giant hardware store, brought along a gazebo and children's activities about composting and planting.  The kids had a ball decorating buckets and gathering worm laden soil to take home.  The woman in red is the Bunnings employee, she was certainly there for a marathon, she didn't move from the activity from before 9am till nearly 2 pm - and she obviously has a much better bladder than I have!
These kids are searching through water which they earlier helped to collect from the lagoon.  Then they filtered it to see what small creatures were in it, before taking some of them inside to a digital microscope connected to a computer and a large projector screen to look at what they had found.  Unfortunately I missed taking photos of that step, but they were all entranced and for the older ones you could talk about the health of the water system as well.
Unfortunately the weather was not very kind to us, yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, but the clouds came over today, then the wind got up and we all started to shiver.  One of the groups had a solar pizza oven, which they say works well mostly, but of course not today!

This beautiful orchid is on display at the front counter of the Visitors Information Centre - I don't know its name, but it is advertising the Orchid House, which is located in anothe of Mackay's Parks.
All in all, this has been a very successful day, but my feet are still hurting and I am tired so I am off to watch a film on Gracie Fields - lovely light relief.


  1. That sounds like a really great day for children and adults alike Robin. Children always seem to absorb more when learning has been turned into fun. Hamish looks so sweet and that orchid is beautiful - they are hothouse plants for us.

  2. What a wonderful way to teach children about the environment. We need so much help to save the reef....I love Bunnings stores!

  3. You really do seem to be doing well in educating the children over there. Stunning orchid.

  4. Watched Gracie too, realised I didnt know all that much about her.
    I loved the idea of fishing for fish and measuring them etc, a brilliant idea.


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