BEEs go bush.
The bilingual environmental educator (BEE) team were out in force in the Canterbury Council area this month where they were linking up with Lana McGee the Biodiversity Project Officer at Canterbury City Council to train themselves up on biodiversity in the local area.
The educators expressed that the combination of an informative and holistic introduction to biodiversity and then putting it straight into practise on a bushwalk made for learning at a deeper level.
The presentation in the morning gave a general introduction of biodiversity within Australia as well as Canterbury council area. The presentation placed the focus on “What is biodiversity?” and “Why is it important to us?”, which stirred up some inspiring discussions. Van Long Tieu, the Vietnamese environmental educator, said he was fascinated by how human beings work as a part of the ecosystem and our responsibility to protect it.
“Although I have been working on this sustainable living project for over 7 years, I am still learning new things about it almost everyday,” said Elsa Cheung, the Cantonese environmental educator, “This training consolidated my biodiversity knowledge and the discussion on ways to spread this knowledge within communities was exceptionally helpful for us.”
In the afternoon, the team went for a bushwalk to Girrahween Park where native plants and weeds were identified and uses for plants were shared. “It was good for me to practise a bushwalk with some experienced educators,” said Mary Liang, the Chinese environmental educator, “I learned to connect the real life plants and birds with stories to help the public understand their importance. Once people appreciate the beauty of lives and know how to care for them, I am sure they will be more motivated to protect it.”
We each increased our list actions that can be taken to protect biodiversity and useful techniques to engage and facilitate the CALD community members were also covered. “I believe that an ideal biodiversity tour is not just about naming the plants you see,” said Mariette Mikhael, the Arabic environmental educator, “it’s about the connection between human beings and the environment. If we can raise people’s appreciation of our environment and their part in its conservation, our community has benefited and we can consider the tour a success.”