Things got a little wild last month, when Weddin Landcare visited all five local primary schools with local artist Kathleen McCue from Patina Gallery in Grenfell, to introduce the Wild At Art competition.
Wild At Art is Australia’s biggest wildlife art competition for children aged 5-12, run by Australian Conservation Foundation. Children are invited to create an original artwork of one of Australia’s many threatened native animals or plants, along with a short, written component on their chosen threatened species.
“Weddin Landcare has been involved with our local schools through our Birds, Bats and Bugs program where they learn about the important roles of different species in our ecosystems. We saw the Wild At Art competition as an excellent opportunity for students to pull together some of their learnings and unleash their artistic skills to create some artworks that will help raise awareness of our local threatened species” said Local Landcare Coordinator, Melanie Cooper.
Students at the schools heard from Melanie first, all about our local threatened species, and were then shown some artistic techniques by Kathleen before creating their artworks that will be submitted to the competition and hopefully win a prize!
“Through funding provided by the NSW Landcare Program, we were able to purchase art supplies for the schools and have Kathleen along to help the creativity flow” explained Claire Diprose, Communications Officer for Weddin Landcare.
“Visiting all five primary schools in one week was crazy but a lot of fun” said Claire.
“It’s clear we have some budding artists and environmentalists in our younger generation” she added.
All of the artworks will be on display at the Grenfell Community Hub as part of the Weddin Community Native Nursery Threatened Species Day event on Thursday 7 September and will then remain on display through to midday on Monday 11 September.
“On Thursday 7 September the Weddin Community Native Nursery are hosting an evening with several prominent guest speakers including BirdLife Australia Photographer Trevor Bullock, who will share some of his award winning photographs” said Melanie.
“We will also hear from the creators of the Caragabal Bird Art, our friends and internationally acclaimed wildlife conservation artists, Camila and Chris, from Eggpicnic” Melanie said.
The Threatened Species night commences at 7pm at the Community Hub in Grenfell and runs until around 10pm, with supper supplied. RSVPs are required, contact Jan Diprose at email@example.com
While in attendance at the Threatened Species event, Eggpicnic will shortlist around 12 of the Wild At Art pictures for inclusion in a local 2024 calendar, which will be made available later in the year. These artworks will be displayed in the front window of the Visitor Information Centre for a further week following the initial display.
Chris and Camila will also be back in Grenfell at the end of September for the Spring Birding NSW surveys on 23-24 September 2023.
“Birding NSW come to Grenfell twice a year as part of Birding NSW’s important bird and biodiversity area surveys. Grenfell is their chosen site as it is part of the South West Slopes Key Biodiversity Area, otherwise known as one of ‘nature’s hotspots’” said Melanie.
“In small groups, surveys are conducted biannually across 30 sites on both public and private land. The group conducts their official surveys on the Saturday then meet for a barbecue on Saturday evening. A more informal survey is then conducted at The Company Dam on the Sunday.
Keen birdwatchers, including those just getting their ‘wings’ are welcome to join in the surveys” Melanie said.
If you would like to get involved in the official survey on Saturday 23 September, please contact Elisabeth Karplus on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to join the casual bird walk on Sunday 24 September at The Company Dam, just turn up at 8:30am.