BirdLife Southern QLD volunteers help Brisbane City Council’s Bush Neighbour Program

BirdLife Southern QLD volunteers help Brisbane City Council’s Bush Neighbour Program

Through education, the Brisbane City Council is looking to facilitate behaviour change In the community for Brisbane’s local reserves. On Tuesday 6th June, I took some time out to present to the Boondall State School as part of the BCC Bush Neighbour Program at the Nudgee Beach Foreshore. A couple of buses full of kids got to meet a rather large and friendly Eastern Curlew, and in smaller groups got to learn about mangroves, shorebirds, crabs and anything related to the environment at Nudgee Beach.  I was very impressed with the calibre of presenters, and their knowledge I walked away feeling convinced that0 the kids learned a great deal on the day. When I was a kid, I never had exposure to so much knowledge about the natural world, and it really made me feel hopeful about future generations. Of the kids I spoke to, many already knew more about shorebirds than many adults.

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The Brisbane City Council’s Environment Centres’ Bush Neighbour Program focusses on facilitating behaviour change and how an individual’s actions can have an impact on the surrounding environment. The program looks at the importance of conserving habitat, keeping your dog on a lead, keeping our bushland areas and waterways free from vandalism, pollution and invasive species, whilst relaying practical take-home messages for the students within an Australian curriculum framework.

Bush Neighbours involves:

·         School visits by the Environment Centre team

·         A presentation with live wildlife endemic to the school’s local area

·         An action-packed visit of a reserve. Students rotate between guided walks, planting,        weeding, completing habitat audits, checking for water quality and more.

·         Assistance with an in-school project to enhance the school’s native habitat

The Environment Centres hope to see real on-ground behaviour change in reserves and parklands across Brisbane City through the roll-out of this program. By working with volunteers and other Council staff, specific behaviours can be identified and addressed as part of the program delivery.  As a by-product, the students who take part walk away feeling a sense of ownership for their local natural area.

I was greatful to have been involved in the delivery of information to Boondall State School as part of the Bush Neighbour Program. Watching year four students eagerly putting their hands up to answer my questions correctly was a very encouraging experience.  

Rob Clemens, BirdLife Southern QLD Branch Support Officer

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