“Are we there yet?” calls echoed through the bus as we pulled up at the gravel path leading down to Barrett Street Weir and our magnificent Margaret River. Waiting to meet us were Lauren Scanlon and Peta Lierich from Margaret River Nature Conservation, ready to launch Bioblitz 2022!
Every year, students and staff look forward to this culminating event at the end of our inquiry and environmental studies through the Our Patch program. Recent rains meant the river was full and the water was gushing loudly over the weir. Presenters were ready and waiting and students were quickly engaged and learning all about frogs and their calls, role-playing marine rangers checking fishermen, learning about local Wardandi cultural practices, bird-spotting with binoculars in the forest or creating environmental artpieces.
Students were introduced to the concept of ‘environmental art’ by artist Elaine Clotcherty, who explained that this kind of art was ‘ephemeral’, meaning it will not last for ever but will gradually be absorbed back into nature and disappear. This is because all the materials used are from nature, and the backdrop for the art is the ground itself.
On this occasion, students worked collaboratively across sessions to create a massive ‘female black cockatoo feather’ using gum nuts, bark and twigs. You can see how effective it was in the video below.
And, sadly, three hours later Bioblitz was over for another year. Many thanks to Nature Conservation for all the work which goes into the Our Patch program and the final Bioblitz event, and to Rotary for their ongoing and valuable sponsorship of this program.
Photos, written and posted by D. Veary