Age Groups: 7-13 | 13-18
School: Mataranka Scout Camp
Grant Sponsor: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
The Mataranka Scout Camp is situated in Dunolly in Victoria’s Central Goldfields. Scouting Youth members from diverse backgrounds wanted to improve the biodiversity of the District Scout Camp and plant wildlife corridors around campsite for fauna to hide and to decrease the effects of erosion.
Funds from a Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant enabled 32 youths aged six to 25 from the Scout group to engage in environmental activities to achieve their goals.
As the grant was awarded in late 2019 and then with COVID-19 restrictions, especially in Victoria during 2020, the program was adapted to an online course that included investigating soil structure, water conservation, native seed collection, propagation, environment disaster issues and projects, including building bird boxes or joey pouches at home.
This project allowed youth members and adult leaders to experience soil science, investigate sustainability of the natural environment and discuss who this project would improve the social and community health by improving eco-systems.
As COVID-19 restrictions eased, planting days at the campsite were held on three occasions. Over 900 indigenous habitat plants were planted across approximately two acres around the campsite. Over time, these plantings will improve the protection of native birds and animals from predators and help to decrease erosion issues.
The youth Scout members expressed an increased understanding of the issues and need for diversity to improve the ecosystem which in turn helps the environment in which they live.
The youth members and adults managing this project were very adaptable, given the restrictions placed by COVID. There were able to do everything that had been planned via an online program and the three planting days.
Photo at top: Youth members of the Mataranka Scout Group help plant native plants around campsite.