Taronga Zoo opens its doors to a group of eager Junior Landcarers

Westpac Education Award Finalists & School of Distance Education Video Competition Winners, NSW

During Landcare Week 2012, the Westpac Education Award finalists and School of Distance Education video competition winners got together to share their inspiring project ideas at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Many of the students had never visited Sydney and couldn’t suppress their excitement on the ferry crossing from Circular Quay to the world-famous zoo where they were greeted by a massive black cockatoo and a cuddly possum.

The highlight of the day was the presentation session, where each Junior Landcarer had the chance to showcase their award winning Landcare projects and ideas. The range of projects was diverse and included creating wildlife habitat; improving the health of local creeks; and raising awareness of traditional indigenous environmental knowledge. All projects reflected the extraordinary hard work and enthusiasm of Junior Landcare groups in Australia.

Each group was also given a special VIP pass to a zoo keeper experience, where they were able to deepen their knowledge of habitat, wildlife and sustainability issues. This session saw the kids go behind the scenes at popular exhibits like the Bird show Amphitheatre, Nocturnal House Kitchen and Reptile World.

Many of these unique experiences tied into the Landcare work that the students had been involved in. The pupils from Sts Peter and Paul Primary School had a great time behind-the-scenes in the Rainforest Aviary and Nocturnal House Kitchen, which enhanced their work on reducing school food waste and collecting eggs from the food scrap chicken program.

After a fantastic day, students, teachers and parents headed for the National Landcare Awards Gala at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre. This great day out was all part of the nationwide celebration of Landcare Week and aimed to highlight the importance of Landcare and reward volunteers, young and old, who work tirelessly to protect the natural environment.