Goulburn Valley children yesterday ventured outside to explore their natural environment and learn about Indigenous culture as part of a new school holiday program.By Jenna Bishop
Children spent yesterday clambering through the forest in search of hidden treasures such as eggs and animal prints as part of a school holiday program.
The Junior Rangers Summer Discovery Program, run by Parks Victoria rangers, encourages children to get in touch with the local environment.
Highlights of the day included games, a bush walk with Parks Victoria Shepparton ranger and team leader Neville Wells and a demonstration of Indigenous artifacts, including boomerangs, killing sticks and shields from Parks Victoria cultural officer Hilda Stewart.
Children were also encouraged to consider the effects pollution can have on water quality, with rangers showing how Murray the Fish was affected by different pollutants like rubbish and detergent in a jar of water.
Noah Rensford, 10, said his favourite part of the day was going on the bush walk with Mr Wells.
‘‘We got to walk around the bush and find treasure, and rubbish, which is bad,’’ he said.
Fellow program participant Cooper Usher, 10, also enjoyed the bush walk and the cultural demonstration.
‘‘I found feathers, flowers and leaves and on the way back, I found a piece of old pottery,’’ he said.
Parks Victoria’s Neville Wells said the program was designed to get kids aged six to 12 interested in the environment.
‘‘It’s to get kids realising we have such wonderful assets,’’ Mr Wells said.
‘‘These are the next generation that have to look after our trees and parks.’’
Mr Wells said he was hoping the program would become a permanent fixture in the school holiday calendar, with activities such as tree planting and guest speakers planned for future events.
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