As the fire situation in Tathra is close by, and still active, the Centre will not be operational Monday (19th March) and Tuesday (20th March). Several of our staff live in areas affected by the fire but everyone is safe which is great news.
Later today a fire did start near our Centre and it was put out through the skilled work of NPWS staff, with support from air-crew. Power lines brought down by the strong winds are the likely cause and the power was still out at around 9pm tonight. The fire is now extinguished but there will be likely to be some further operations around the fire ground tomorrow.
Thank you to Grant, Bobby, Terry, Bruce, Johan and Ross from NPWS for your work and to any other emergency services workers who contributed to the operation.
We are all very saddened by the events of today and thinking of all those who have been hit hard by the fire.
Last week’s macro photography workshop at Panboola was a great success! We had a wide range of ages and interests present and everyone came away with something to think about for the next time they took a few snaps. Jennifer Halper was visiting Bournda National Park with students from Eden Marine High School and captured this wonderful image of a water dragon. Jen commented “This is in focus, keeping in mind what Harrison outlined last week”
What a great student and what a great photograph! Thanks Jen for letting us use this lovely image on our website!
Schools Clean Up Day is an initiative coordinated by Clean Up Australia Ltd to allow students to participate in Clean Up Australia Day as part of a school activity. Schools are encouraged to register their own grounds or a safe and suitable alternative site with Clean Up Australia, for clean up activities on 2 March 2018. Schools can nominate to participate in Schools Clean Up Day by registering on-line at the Clean Up website: https://cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/reqister
We went to one of the South Coast’s most iconic beauty spots (Bournda Lagoon in Bournda National Park) and kayaked to a seldom visited location on the western shoreline. In JUST TWO MINUTES the GoMAD (Go Make a Difference) camp participants picked up enough waste to fill a large bag. Unfortunately the haul even included a syringe – YUK!
Clearly this is just not good enough and students took a short time out from having fun to just be MAD about it. The students discussed approaches like “Take Three for the Sea” and other ways people can take positive action to reduce litter in the environment.
The GoMAD camp involves teachers and student leaders, from Bega, Narooma, Moruya and Batemans Bay High Schools, who have come together to share their GoMAD experiences.
Last week students from local small schools made Bournda National Park their base for the annual Peer Support Camp. The camp has been run every year since 1990 and provides the Year 6 students with a great opportunity to celebrate the end of primary school.
The camp was organised by Tanja PS Principal Lee-Ann Thompson, with support from Bournda EEC and Bega High School, with catering provided by Tanja PS P&C. Students and staff from Tanja, Bemboka, Wolumla, Candelo and Wyndham Public Schools attended.
The camp is just one of many transition activities supported by Bega High and Mark Freedman, Head Teacher- Student Welfare, put together a crack team of Year 9 mentors to support the students and to help them think about their start to life at high school.
Activities included kayaking, bushcraft survival, bike riding, raft building, surfboat (on the lake), challenge games, Indigenous activities and a beach carnival. Night-time nature walks and prawning were very popular with the students. Students also came up with their own entertainment with some talented shadow puppets on display at night.
The weather forecast is not great for Monday and Tuesday but our Waste Warriors will not let moisture dampen their determination to fight the good fight in the War on Waste! Our camp will proceed and the students and teachers from four participating high schools from the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla will make a difference!
The GoMAD camp is part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW Environmental and Zoo Education Centres’ GoMAD program.
Unfortunately we are cancelling today’s Bega High School Year 10 program due to the forecast rain, with the chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms. It is always disappointing to cancel but everyone wants more rain so we’ll be happy about that.
Bournda EEC would like to thank Mrs Morgan and the Bega High School staff for their support of the program. The students have been outstanding but today they won’t be out standing in the rain!
Tired but happy after walking from Tathra to Wallagoot
About this time last year, local botanist Jackie Miles alerted us to the presence of the weed Coreopsis lanceolata on Sapphire Coast Drive.
Photo: Bournda EEC
“This is a pushy weed (eg round Ulladulla and Jervis Bay where it runs amok on roadsides on sandy soils). There was a single local infestation round the swimming pool at Pambula Beach some years ago, which Council, to their credit, seem to have dealt with pretty effectively (not noxious, so they would have got no funding to do it). There used to be an odd plant crop up along Sapphire Coast Drive, but this is the first one I’ve noticed for quite some time.”
We pulled out a clump this morning so keep on the alert for any popping up in your area. After the recent rain they are quite easy to pull out.
A wonderful example of how students and teachers are taking the lead in the “War on Waste”. Julie Donne, the Bournda EEC Canberra Region Joint Organisations (CBRJO) Waste Education Project Officer, has been working with Bega High School on a GoMAD project (Go Make a Difference) and they have really have taken their campaign to the streets. Check out this update in the Bega District News!
The CBRJO Waste Education program provides great resources to help Councils work with schools and the Bega Valley Shire Council waste team has been working closely with Jules and also developing their own programs.
Our mission: To get Jake from Tathra to Wallagoot Lake as part of the Bega High School Crossroads program.
Our equipment: the TrailRider which Bournda EEC purchased with support from the Department of Education, Tulgeen Disability Services and Tarra Motors.
Our test “pilot”: Right from the word go Jake was enthusiastic about the TrailRider. His positive attitude really set the tone for the day. Have a listen to what he has to say! Talk about “The Right Stuff”.
Jake is a Year 10 student at Bega High School. Yesterday he was test pilot on the Bournda TrailRider and gave it the big thumbs up after a journey up and down stairs and across some bumpy ground! The Year 10 students will be coming out to Bournda in November for their Crossroads program and Jake will take advantage of the TrailRider to access areas that his wheelchair wouldn’t be able to get to. A big thank you to Jake for giving us expert feedback on the set up of the TrailRider. And thanks to Mrs Harris for organising the test with Jake..
Mr Freedman (Bega HS), Jake and SLSO Catherine with the Bournda TrailRider.
On Monday Bournda EEC received a call from Dr. David Stratton who has pioneered the use of the TrailRider in Australia. A presentation by David at the World Parks Congress in 2014 was the inspiration for us to get a TrailRider for students who come to Bournda EEC. He was thrilled to hear that we were providing this support to students in our schools and is keen to see some photos of the TrailRider in use. You can check out more about David’s inspirational story in this video.
Acknowledgements: The TrailRider was purchased with contributions from Bournda EEC, NSW Department of Education Student Services, Tulgeen and Tarra Ford.
Today Bournda EEC hosted video conferences with Ulladulla High School and Moruya High School to discuss progress on their GoMAD (Go Make A Difference) projects. It was great to hear the enthusiastic ideas of students on how to make a difference to waste in their schools.
Thanks to Tathra Public School, Bega Valley Public School and Tanja Public School students that braved the elements and completed the Weather Warriors program today at Bournda EEC. It was wet, wet, wet and the perfect day to have a closer look at the Water Cycle. The students did an animation of the water cycle and did get outside to check the rain gauge. It was hard to rein in their enthusiasm! We’ll send an evaluation to check “whether” they enjoyed the day!
Thank you to the teachers and parents for organising the students to come today and especially the parents that did the drop-off and pick-up duties.
The inaugural Sapphire Coast Learning Community Bournda Bird Olympics was held on Thursday 27th July.
It was a fantastic day and the students from Tathra, Towamba, Tanja and Wolumla Public Schools were fine representatives for their school communities.
EVERY student had a go in the bird call section and there was magic in the room as the students showed off their skills!
Each school received a set of posters from the Gould League and each participant was awarded a “Looking at Birds on the Far South Coast of NSW”, generously donated by the Far South Coast Bird Watchers.
The students participated in six activities: identifying bird calls; identifying birds from pictures; matching feathers to birds; bird knowledge quiz; bird creative art; and bird calling.
The official awards were:
Jack Lynch Memorial Award for the highest school total – Trophy donated by Robert Whiter and Georgies Fine Jewellery
Tanja Public School
Champion bird callers Bruce Chapman (Left) and Jim Burton with overall winners Tanja PS and the Jack Lynch Memorial Award.
Individual Prize for Best Bird Call – Gould League Book Prize
Kiana Murphy – Tathra PS
Highest Individual Scores – On the Perch Family Day Passes – donated by Steve and Linda Sass, On the Perch Bird Park.
Uluka Richardson – Towamba PS
Caleb Ingram – Tanja PS
Highest Individual Score from each school – BirdLife Australia – Endangered Bird pins donated by Richard Bomford
Caleb Ingram – Tanja PS
Kiana Murphy – Tathra PS
Uluka Richardson – Towamba PS
Cameron Love – Wolumla PS
Highest Team Bird Brains quiz score – Gould League book donation to school library
The scores were very close with only a couple of marks between all the teams. Tathra PS students were younger so theirs was a particularly meritorious performance. Vanessa Milton from ABC Open, documented the event – check out Vanessa’s marvellous story on the “Champion Bird Callers of the South Coast”
We were fortunate to have a few champion bird callers of yesterday present; thank you to Jim Burton and Bruce Chapman for judging the bird calling. Other Bird Calling luminaries present were Gary Beveridge, Sandra Bray, Marg Liston, Fay Deveril, Elaine Cozens and Jill. Don Bretherton (Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society) assisted with the display materials.
It was a pilot program but there was a definite vibe that it would be great to continue the event next year and to get more schools involved. Newspaper articles provided by the Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society, show that at it’s peak in the 1950s, the South Coast Bird Days, organised by Merimbula Public Principal Jack Lynch, were attended by up to 700 students and 200 adults!!
Thank you to our prize sponsors and thank you to the Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society for kindly loaning us their Bird Call display and bird call activity.
A big thank you to the Bird Brains behind this event – Peter Claxton, Principal of Wolumla Public; Nancy Blindell, SAM Towamba Public; Robert Whiter.
The conference is always an amazing opportunity to network, access new resources, learn and get inspiration- it’s one big professional development opportunity!!
The early bird registration ends on July 31, so now is the time to get your conference registration happening.
The early bird full conference rate is only $280 for AAEE members, $380 for non-AAEE members and only $200 for students/community volunteers. REGISTER NOW
Not an AAEE member? Now is the time to join!
Join before July 31 and you will also receive 15 months membership for the price of 12! Individual membership is $105, schools/small NGOs are $145 and corporate (Councils etc) is $250. JOIN NOW
AAEE NSW would love to see you there and it will be a great opportunity for you all to reconnect face to face.
Are you interested in assisting with monitoring marine debris in your local area?
Tangaroa Blue is working with the EPA on a container deposit monitoring project in NSW. The monitoring is happening along estuaries from Northern NSW down to Merimbula and it is planned to do four monitoring events before the container deposit scheme is created on Dec 1st 2017 and another 8 after it is implemented.
They have set up four sampling sites in our local estuaries and are looking for interested Merimbula community members who can assist on the weekend of June 24/25 to be trained to complete the remaining events.
If you are interested, please contact us asap on 64945009 or send details using our Contact Form
Ana’s artwork was brought to my attention by Bob and I subsequently went to the Bombala HS awards night and present, in absentia, a Bournda EEC Environment Prize to Ana for her work which I found thoughtful and inspiring. A very aware young lady. Doug Reckord, Princpal, Bournda Environmental Education Centre
Eden Marine High School (EMHS) Year 7 students have been participating in a new geography program looking at coastal hazards in the local area. Supported by Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC), the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Bournda EEC, the program has been developed with EMHS Geography teachers and introduces the students to important coastal processes and coastal hazards like beach erosion and coastal inundation.
The students took advantage of a break in the rain and surveyed sites to identify infrastructure and assets that may be at risk and used computers to look at hazard maps prepared by BVSC. Students take on the role of Council staff to prepare materials to raise public awareness of the issues involved.
Bournda EEC thanks BVSC, NPWS and EMHS (particularly Mr Cookson) for their assistance.
We were having such a good time at Bournda EEC’s 40th (yes 40th!!) World Environment Day (WED) Dinner we forgot to take photographs but luckily Chris Polglase captured some images.
110 people ventured out for the celebratory dinner at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre and reminisced on 40 years of WED dinners initiated by the inaugural Bournda Principal, Jack Miller, way back in 1978! The assembled gave a round of applause for Jack’s efforts in nurturing the event for many years.
Welcome to Country was given by Colleen Dixon in the Gulaga Room and she spoke of how important it was for people to remember to look after Mother Earth. Other highlights included the lucky door prize of a hand carved wooden elephant generously donated by Spoonsmith! In this photo you can see guest speaker Dr. John Merson, with hand poised to randomly select the eventual winner, Josh Brown, while Bournda Principal Doug Reckord and Administration Manager Jan Lynch look on.
Our guest speaker Dr John Merson was introduced by Dave Gallan and later thanked by Kim Taysom. Dr. Merson gave a thought-provoking presentation on climate change action, outlining details of the Blue Mountain’s Low Carbon Living project. For those that missed out on one of the brochures John distributed, you can download it here.
Participants admired the stunning display of creative art and writing from local school students, who had recently explored the WED theme of “Connecting People to Nature” at workshops at Bournda.
Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic crowd for a Monday night and indicative of our community’s enthusiasm for giving back to Mother Earth. A good time was had by all!
At 4:15am Tuesday 6th June, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Severe Weather Warning for the Far South Coast.
The dangerous wind, combined with cold and possibly wet conditions, make today unsuitable for outdoor activities so unfortunately we have had to postpone programs at Bournda. This includes the Pambula PS Year 2 program and the “My Treasure” Creative and Talented Program involving students from Tanja PS, Bega Valley PS, Bermagui PS and Bemboka PS.
The Year 7 Geography, Landforms and Landscapes program at Eden Marine High, will go ahead with modified activities.
Inaugural BEEC Future Leaders winner, Harrison Warne with Amelia Telford (AYCC)
World Environment Day is tomorrow (5th June) and it is a great day to announce that Bournda EEC welcomes nominations from Year 12 students, who have shown strong environmental leadership and initiative, for the 2017 Bournda EEC Future Leaders Award.
The award is made possible with the generous support of Dr Helen Sykes from Future Leaders
Bega High School staff recently held an overnight professional learning camp at Bournda. One of the activities was to develop procedures for the safe use of Bournda EEC’s new TrailRider All Terrain Wheelchair.
In the picture below Mark Freedman steers while Jess Harris (Head Teacher , Special Education) enjoys the scenery. The unnamed person at the front seems to be doing the work!
Everyone, especially Mrs Harris, was impressed by the ease with which the TrailRider handled the rough section of track.
The Trai Rider will be used to assist students with mobility needs during Bournda EEC programs and will be available for loan to other community groups.
Exciting news that will have bird fans shaking their tail feathers! On the Perch Bird Park has generously offered some great prizes to add to the booty on offer for participating students and schools. On the Perch is a fantastic place for bird lovers of all ages to visit and thank you to Steve and Linda Sass for contributing to the Bird Olympics!
“Connecting People to Nature” at the 40th Bournda EEC World Environment Day Dinner
A UN General Assembly resolution on the 15th December 1972 designated:
“5 June as World Environment Day and urges Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness…”
World Environment Day is the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
“Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
Bournda Environmental Education Centre has been hosting an annual dinner to celebrate World Environment Day for the last 40 years and this year the guest speaker is Dr John Merson. Associate Professor John Merson was the Director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies until 2012 and Head of the Graduate Research Program in Environmental Policy and Management at University of NSW. He is presently the Executive Director of The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, and has been a consultant to the UNESCO, APEC, IUCN, DEST & Dept. of Foreign Affairs. He was a member of the Australian Indonesia Steering Committee on Science and Technology, and the Australia Korea Forum.
He is the author of seven books and a wide range of academic papers and research covering issues of Environmental and Development, Adaptive Environmental Policy & Management and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. For his journalistic work, he is the recipient of a United Nations Media Peace Prize.
The dinner will also feature wonderful creative art and writing by local students which will then be displayed in local libraries throughout the Bega Valley.
The World Environment Day Dinner is on Monday June 5th, at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre, with doors opening at 6pm for a 7pm start.
Tickets may be purchased, at a cost each of $40, from Candelo Books (Bega) with a cash sale or through Bournda Environmental Education Centre, phone 6494 5009.
Two octopuses. One crab. The chase is on in the shallows of Wallagoot Lake. Bournda EEC teacher Luke Brown has a knack of being in the right place at the right time to show students our amazing natural world and these Stage 1 students from Tathra Public School had a treat today! Some students were cheering on the “squid”. Was anyone cheering on the crab?
Future Leaders generously sponsor the Bournda EEC Future Leaders Environment Award which will be presented at the World Environment Day Dinner, 5 June. Two Year 12 students will each win $500. The application form for this award will be up loaded and sent to schools shortly.
Cloudy. Very high (90%) chance of showers in the north, medium (60%) chance elsewhere. Areas of fog about the coastal ranges. Winds northeast to southeasterly 20 to 30 km/h tending northeasterly in the morning. Daytime maximum temperatures in the low to mid 20s.
I was amazed to see our ‘wild un-afraid magpie’ (at home) regurgitate something up recently. I immediately went to see what it was – and as he was only about five meters from me and on the driveway – it was easy to spot. Here is a photo I took of the pellet, fresh from the Magpie! I didn’t even know that they did this till I saw myself & researched it.
For a number of years Bournda EEC staff have been collecting data on litter on Sapphire Coast Drive and other locations in the Bega Valley Shire. You can read about the findings in this roadside-litter-report. Today was the beginning of a new round of collecting and analysing roadside litter. We started on Sapphire Coast Drive, on a section of road that passes through National Park and Nature Reserve. We haven’t crunched the numbers yet but the pictures show a small sample of what we have found at just 6 of the 14 index sites on Sapphire Coast Drive. Certainly some sections of the road don’t look clean and for an area with such a great reputation for pristine environments, that is a problem. It is also a concern that the roadways are only a short distance from our spectacular beaches and estuaries.
The pictures below show a typical sample from a 60 square-metre section of roadside.
Bournda EEC will be supporting the GoMAD Challenge in 2017! Check out the flyer and if you are a high school teacher in the South East who wants a great leadership opportunity for your students, get in contact with us.
FUNDING IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR GROUP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Grants of up to $5,000 are available for community groups who are keen to tackle litter in their area and have the local knowledge to make a difference.
We’re excited to offer our Community Litter Grants to volunteer groups and collectives of all just stripes, not just the usual, environment-focused subjects. These grant projects are a great way to bring a team together, to make your community healthier, safer, and cleaner, and to maybe find a renewed sense of purpose.
The grants are easy and accessible. They start with a local litter check (like a clean-up and an audit) in your chosen public space: a beach, or a park, or a football field, etc. For this, your group receives $500.
From there, you can apply for a grant to create a project that will reduce litter long-term in their chosen public space.
The grants give everyone involved a sense of ownership of the land and space around them, and the tools to make them better. It’s all about grassroots-led action (you know what’s best for your area), and KNSWB is on-hand to offer project advice at every turn.
This is the third year in which the Community Litter Grants are being rolled out, but the first year a perpetual application period is being introduced. Groups can apply anytime, so why not get in touch?
Written by Liam Jolley; Year 10 Student at Bega High School
I’ve had a long week at the Bournda EEC. The week started with the Light to Light walk with Karabar High Sport, Leisure and Recreation led by Doug Reckord, Bournda EEC Principal. The Light to Light walk is a hike from Boyd Tower(near Eden) to the Green Cape light station, approx. 30 km. The walk encompasses much of the coastal fringes of the Ben Boyd National Park. This terrain includes soaring cliffs as well as heathlands, and the occasional historical settlement.
The walk was supposed to occur over three days, but due to technical difficulties; these mostly consisting of a bus that couldn’t keep its coolant inside of itself, the walk was shortened to two days. Although this didn’t hinder Karabar’s spirit. The group soldiered on though the second day, walking twice as far as they planned. The next day they finally arrived at Green Cape. They then caught a second bus to Bournda, driven by Doug, and enjoyed a well deserved shower. They headed home early the next day.
Meanwhile the student’s of Narooma Public’s grade 3 classes were just arriving at the National Park. For the first day the students were involved in a program called Significant Environments which included a guided tour of the National Park. Jules Donne and Luke Brown, teachers at the EEC, led the students around the famous sights of the park including Bondi and Wallagoot Lakes as well as Bournda Lagoon and its lookout. At which the students drew their own pictures of the landscape. The students then headed back to the camp for an early night.
The next day the students walked to the lagoon and rotated between three different kinds of activities. Firstly, the Challenge Games led by Bob Harris, EEC.These focused on the student developed teamwork skills and trust in one another. Second the Problem-solving Initiatives led by Jesse French, Naroooma PS. The initiatives focused on problem-solving and lateral thinking exercises. The final activity was run by Luke Brown, EEC and was a biodiversity survey of the lagoon. The students collected marine creatures of all kinds whilst Luke explained to the students the role they played in the ecosystem. The creatures were then released back into the lagoon. After completing the activities the NPS students walked back to camp, packed up, and with a final goodbye left.
All in all my work experience was tiring but immensely fulfilling. I think I came out of the experience better understanding the relevance of environmental education both in and outside of the classroom. I hope to return to the EEC soon although I think next time I’ll leave the teaching to the professionals.
(Thanks Liam, your work was much appreciated and helped us in a very busy week. A big thank you to Mrs Morgan from Bega HS for organising Liam’s work experience.)
Just out of the EEC office we found these Lycaena butterflies which emerged today. Did you know that they have a relationship with ants called myrmecophily (interspecies association). They produce sugar rich secretions that attract ants. In return the ants protect the larvae and in some species the pupa also.
I’ve decided that I should make some nesting boxes to put up in the bush at home. I like the idea of using a hollow log but it’s important to leave logs in the bush for ground dwelling animal habitat.
Useful information and design ideas for nesting boxes I have learnt that it’s a good idea to thread the wire through a piece of garden hose to help protect the tree and to put some loops in the wire for extension as the tree grows. Placing the box at a height of 5 meters or less will attract most species, position the box so that the hollow is protected from the prevailing weather.
The Bournda EEC staff had the pleasure of visiting On The Perch recently. Great to see the birds so happy and comfortable, with plenty of space to fly (and perch on us!) The Bush Stone Curlew is nesting again (she’s chosen a spot right by the path) and the chicks are due to hatch just in time for Threatened Species week. Sadly this bird is on the endangered species list due to loss of habitat and predation by cats, foxes and dogs.
These two visited recently – hoping for a share of lunch. Feeding the wildlife, while tempting to do, is not good for them and can lead to a range of negative consequences for the animals and humans. The Office of Environment and Heritage have more information on keeping our wildlife healthy here:
The Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub’s Sapphire Coast Science Festival finished with a bang at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre on Sunday 21st August. Read what some of the locals thought about the events!
Bournda EEC staff were saddened by the passing of Dr Paul Brock, an educational visionary and a superb mind. Paul was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Environmental Education and Zoo Education Centre conference in Tathra and his inspirational words gave us energy and purpose!