Community custodians

The gloves were on and enthusiasm was high as students from Lindenow Primary School celebrated National Tree Day last week with a visit to the upper reaches of Skull Creek.

Working with the GLaWAC NRM crew, the grade 4’s & 5’s planted over 500 native seedlings in an effort to help restore the 10 km stretch of wetlands near Lindenow.

With the new plants in the ground, the kids learned about the cultural significance of the site with Uncle Alfie Hudson and were excited to find a baby Eastern long neck turtle hatchling with the team from Bug Blitz.

The event was organised by Greening Australia (GA) in collaboration with the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority with funding provided by the Victorian State Governments ‘Our Catchment, Our Communities’ plan.

Martin Potts, from GA appreciates the significance of being able to foster relationships with the environment from an early age. “These students are learning about the biodiversity and the cultural history of their own backyard. It’s important to give kids an opportunity to do their little bit, to be custodians and bring a little bit of wilderness back.” he said.

Grade four teacher Kate McNab appreciates the connection that these excursions bring to the biological studies being taught in the classroom. “It’s a great environmental activity for the kids to be out amongst the trees and animals that we’re learning about and great to be able to spend some time with Alfie learning about the culture of the area.  The baby turtle was just the icing on the cake“

Classroom in a catchment

Clifton Creek Primary School students travelled to the Nicholson River at Deptford to learn about the history of the area with members of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA), Greening Australia and Bug Blitz.

Walking downstream, students visited the old diversion tunnel built next to the river in a quest to find gold and had a hard time believing that the area once had a population of 300 people and it’s own local school.

With nets in hand, they were able to explore the tiny critters that live in and around the river and better understand what a healthy waterway looks like. They even found a Gypsy Jumping spider, which is common in NSW and Queensland but never before recorded in East Gippsland.

“It’s great for the kids to explore the local community”, said Sue Paul, Principal of Clifton Creek Primary. “The kids love a nature walk and are currently studying habitat and endangered species so it’s important to be able to connect what we’re learning in the classroom with what’s happening out in the world.”

Corringle Calling

The sun was shining and conditions were calm as the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA), Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Parks Victoria hosted a walk, talk and paddle at Corringle Foreshore Reserve last week.

Participants learnt about the joint management arrangements between GLaWAC and Parks Victoria, the cultural significance of the Reserve and the importance that environmental water flows play to the health of the Snowy River.

“Getting out into nature is good for the health and wellbeing of our whole community” said Nicole Thompson EGCMA Water Program Team Leader, “We’d like to thank our partners and all of the community members who helped make this day such a success. Getting people involved in our waterways is a key priority in the Water Plan for Victoria.”

Corringle walk, talk and paddle

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority is offering community members an opportunity to explore the Corringle Foreshore Reserve.

The EGCMA, in partnership with the GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Parks Victoria, will host a free cultural walk, talk and paddle tour at 10.30am on Thursday 30th May.

Participants will have an opportunity to walk through the Foreshore Reserve and adjoining coastline, learn about the significance of Corringle to the Gunaikurnai people and hear from GLaWAC and Parks Victoria about their joint management arrangements.

Taking to the water, participants will paddle toward the mouth of the Snowy River Estuary to learn about the importance that environmental water flows play to the health of the river system, the surrounding biodiversity and the people who enjoy it.

Lunch and all equipment will be supplied and guests will paddle with the support and guidance of qualified and experienced recreational instructors.

The excursion is suitable for people with no prior paddling experience, but participants need to be reasonably fit and agile to enter the canoes or rafts and complete a 2km walk. It’s open to everyone over the age of twelve, and those under 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

Participants will be required to bring clothing and any personal supplies, and be prepared to get a little wet.

If you would like to join in the fun,  please register here from Wednesday 15th May.  Numbers will be limited so early booking is advisable.

Please note that this paddle is subject to weather conditions and river flows.

Wetland Wonders

Wetlands are more than just swamps, they serve an important ecological function and are important places for Traditional Owners.

That was the takeaway at the recent Wonders of the Wetlands tour, led by the EGCMA in conjunction with Greening Australia and the Lower Tambo Landcare Group.

Attendees had the opportunity to travel to sites along the lower Tambo to see the progress of works being undertaken by Greening Australia. They learned about the environmental and cultural importance of the Twin Rivers, while Birdlife Australia’s Deb Sullivan discussed the migratory birds who visit the Gippsland Lakes each year.

The EGCMA would like to thank the community members, landholders and partner organisations who helped make this day such a success.

Project sites visited have been funded by the Victorian State Government as part of $222 million committed to improving the health of waterways and catchments in Victoria.