Bush Tucker in the Dunes

Neville Bonney, renowned botanist and author, will be guiding tours at the Tennyson Dunes Open Day on Sunday 28th September, 11am to 2pm.

The Tennyson Dunes Group has invited Neville to show us just a little of how Aboriginal people used coastal plants prior to European arrival.  Volunteers will also be on hand to explain how they’ve cared for the dunes over the past 19 years since the group formed.

Last year the Open Day attracted more than 100 visitors and with the weather looking like a perfect Spring weekend you can expect it’ll be popular again this year.

So, for an insight into a little known world make sure you get down to the Tennyson Dunes this weekend.

TennysonDunesOpenDay2014

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Help protect a unique outdoor classroom

We all know that wild, natural places are important for us to connect with nature.  It’s where we do most of our environmental learning and it’s where we develop a love of the natural world.

Too often, however, these places are at risk – like the Tennyson Dunes.  Well now’s your chance to do something about it.

The Tennyson Dunes Group are asking the South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, the Hon Ian Hunter MLC, to dedicate the Tennyson Dunes for conservation under the Crown Land Management Act 2009.  This will provide them with some small protection against inappropriate development which threatens them and the wildlife that call them home.

Support this proposal by signing the petition here.

Getting Sand Between Your Toes

Experiential learning is what it’s all about.

The best way to learn about nature, the best way to develop an appreciation for nature, is to be amongst nature.  Get the sand between your toes, so to speak.

To this end, the Tennyson Dunes Group is holding their annual open day this coming Sunday – 15th September 2013 – from 11am to 2pm.

Guided walks, led by the volunteers themselves, leave every half hour and you’ll get a chance to hear from special guests Professor Chris Daniels and Associate Professor Victor Gostin.

So if you want to hear about the natural history of Adelaide’s coastline, see what the volunteers do to protect the dunes, check out the wildflowers and native fauna or just want to get sand between your toes be sure to get down to the Tennyson Dunes tomorrow.

2013 Tennyson Dunes Open Day flyer

Iconic Australiana

I recently had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Currency Creek Arboretum which contains hundreds of species of Eucalypts from all around Australia.  Dr Dean Nicolle, who established the arboretum, gives an amazing tour with some very interesting anecdotes about each species and the research he conducts.

Dean Nicolle on tour

Well, the opportunity has arisen again.  This weekend (Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September) Dean is hosting another tour as part of the Open Gardens Australia program.

Eucalyptus preissiana ssp. lobata fruitIf you’re keen to learn more about Eucalypts, one of Australia’s iconic plant groups, then this is your chance.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

Eucalypt flowersEucalyptus flowers

Nature Play

Day one of the Australian Association for Environmental Education conference found us on the eco-education tour.  We visited CERES and the Port Phillip Eco Centre, but more on those in a later post.

I want to begin with the Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne and its Children’s Garden.

The Children's GardenThis is a fantastic nature space for children of all ages to explore and have fun, and in the process learn to appreciate nature.  It is more informal education, rather than a formal one, but the children love it, by all accounts.

It is a safe place, completely walled in with one child proof gate, but it also has several distinct spaces within the garden, including a bamboo forest, pond, tea tree grove, rock garden, open grassed area, vegie garden, shelter, tree fern garden – the list goes ever on.

I really like the concept that children are encouraged to just play, using their own imagination and explore what nature has to offer.  It is an extremely important aspect of  every child’s life and will encourage the next generation to have a connection to nature that so many of us are missing in the modern world.

If you can get here to check it out for yourself, do so.  It’s well worth the visit.

Well done to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens, and hopefully more such spaces can be developed in community gardens, schools and backyards all around the whole globe.

Garden Features

Garden Path

Boab Trees

The Pond

Entrance to the Bamboo Forest

The Magic Pudding

Designed for Kids

The 10,000 Year Old Tree Stump