The ‘Birds, Bats and Bugs – Engaging Schools in Ecosystem Benefactors’ project was developed by Weddin Landcare in 2021, following the success of the Caragabal Bird Art Project with Caragabal Public School. The program has been running for three years and now involves all primary schools in the Weddin Shire as well as the two mobile preschools. This year, we also hope to engage with The Henry Lawson High School and Grenfell Preschool and Long-Daycare centre.
Each year, each school adopts an ‘Ecosystem Benefactor’ – birds, bats or bugs. Students learn about the important roles these animals play in different ecosystems and ways to encourage more of them in our landscape. Guest presenters are often brought in to help deliver interesting content on birds, microbats, native pollinators and dung beetles.
Students then put some of their learnings into action with the installation of artificial habitats for their chosen ecosystem benefactors at their schools (bird nesting boxes, microbat boxes, native bee hotels or dung beetle breeding boxes). An ongoing monitoring program is also be conducted with the schools.
To date, the program has been fun and educational, with teachers and parents reporting back how engaged their children had been for the sessions.
The Birds, Bats and Bugs project has been funded through the Central West Local Land Services Resilient Communities Small Grants program, with funding made available through the NSW Government.
In 2021, Quandialla Public School learnt about native pollinators and created some lovely native bee hotels.
In 2021, students at Caragabal Public School participated in a bird walk and talk with Warren Chad.
Caragabal Public School students loved watching the aborist install their bird nesting boxes.
In the first year of the program, Greenethorpe Public School learnt about microbats and had some microbat roosting boxes installed.
In 2022, St. Joseph’s Primary School joined the program and learnt about birds from Jayden Gunn.
Mikla Lewis OAM educated the students at Quandialla Public School and Quandialla Mobile Preschool about microbats in 2022.
Greenethorpe Public School students loved their new binoculars they received as part of the Birds, Bats and Bugs project in 2022.
Jayden Gunn helped Greenethorpe students to identify birds in their playground in 2022.
Caragabal Mobile Preschool students joined in the fun to make some native bee hotels in 2022.
The native bee hotels have been the highlight of the program for many students involved.
Caragabal Public School made some fantastic native bee hotels for their school in 2022.
Grenfell Public School stage 1 students made these wonderful native bee hotels to place around their playground in 2022.