Walla Wetland Workshops a Winner!

Community connection through participation

Making a Difference -

LLCI020-002

Walla Wetland Workshops a Winner!

Community connection through participation

The issue

The Walla Walla Public School P&C Association had a vision to expand the school curriculum to include Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Agriculture, engage with the broader community and encourage students to venture out beyond the town boundaries.

Walla Walla, a thriving agricultural centre, is located 39km north of Albury in the South West Slopes bioregion. The town is surrounded by fertile mixed farmland dotted with distinctive granite outcrops like giant tossed-away marbles and pockets of remnant Box-Gum Grassy Woodland with ephemeral (rainfed) wetlands. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Wiradjuri people and their rich heritage is evident throughout the landscape.

The solution

With a Murray LLS Small Communities Grant in hand, a series of interactive, hands-on NRM Workshops was held over 2 days, bringing together 11 presenters from 7 different organisations and Landcare Groups with 200 students from Walla Walla, Holbrook and Culcairn public schools.Parents and community also attended the bat-trapping demonstrations and spotlighting adventures.

The site was a high conservation woodland and wetland on the out-skirts of town known as Gum Swamp Reserve. The reserve is home to many threatened species, including the Squirrel Glider, Brown Tree Creeper, Grey-crowned Babbler, Brolga, White-bellied sea-eagle and the Fishing Bat.

The impact

The programs success was evident in the enthusiastic reactions and increased awareness of local environmental issues. Clearly the seeds of the next generation of Landcarers' were being sown. Fuelled by the passion of the presenters, the program covered Indigenous culture and bush tucker, nature photography, wetlands studies with water bugs, water flows and plants identification, reptile habitats and local bird species, native drawing, protecting endangered species, feral animal control, grazing regimes and weed management. The P&C hope to make it an annual event.

“It was also absolutely fantastic to see the number of school children that dragged their parents back after school for a second session! To see them interacting so directly and excitedly with nature was a real buzz,” a local resident said.

WWPS thanks the Greater Hume Shire Council, Holbrook Landcare Network, Murray LLS, Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group, Charles Sturt University and the Australian National University.

Images

 

Key facts

  • Educate and encourage a connection with the environment through partnerships.
  • "The students haven't stopped talking about it"
  • "A credit to everyone involved"
  • Hands-on activities and real-life situations

Project Partners