World Environment Week – June 2014

“LESS SCREENTIME – MORE GREENTIME”

World Environment Day 2014

This year, Council’s theme for World Environment Week was designed to get kids away from their various digital screens and back out into nature to encourage healthy outdoor recreation.
So many children don’t get the opportunity for “wild” experiences in our current lifestyles and that can result in fear of the natural environment and its ecology and a disconnect from our food supply.
Along with many other community groups and organizations, Moss Vale Community Garden members hosted a day of activities for over 50 Year One students from Moss Vale Public School.
There were five activities through which the groups rotated and these included:
Build a Beneficial Bug Motel: The objective was to introduce children to the idea that our gardens support an ecology where problem bugs can be dealt with by beneficial predatory bugs. No need for poisonous sprays which indiscriminately kill beneficial insects along with the less desirable ones.
The children made small and large bug motels for hanging around the backyard.

Making a bug motel

Mystery Bag: Kids had to identify a fruit or vegetable in a hessian bag by feel – a game to extend the children’s knowledge of our local food crops.
Another part of this activity involved identifying aromatic herbs also hidden in a cloth bag, and talking about where we might use them, are they edible, etc.

Playing the mystery bag gamePlanting & Transplanting Cycling and Recycling: Seeds are living things which, when planted will grow into mature plants, many of which are our basic edible crops.
We can allow them to create the seeds of next season’s crops which we can collect for future plantings, creating an ongoing cycle.
The kids planted snowpea seeds into recycled cardboard toilet roll inner tubes and also actively transplanted cabbage seedlings into an old kettle BBQ/new recycled raised bed.

Planting some seedlingsBackyard Animals as Fertiliser Farmers: Using the natural habits of worms, chooks and guinea pigs or pet rabbits, we can create a lot of free fertilizer for putting on our vege patches.
The kids got down and dirty, harvesting a mature worm farm and creating a new one.
The kids not only got a buzz from handling earthworms but also had an opportunity to pat chooks and guinea pigs.

Chook poo is great for plantsMaking Kid-Sized Scarecrows: A scarecrow is supposed to do just that – scare the birds off the fruit & veges in the backyard.
Five beautiful small scarecrows were created using recycled clothing, straw and materials.
Much fun was had in the creation of these colourful additions to the Community Garden.

We are proud of our scarecrowsChildren and adults alike had a fun time in the hour and a half set aside for the activities and the grinning Year Ones went back to school clutching a potted strawberry plant for planting at home.
The gang at Moss Vale Community Garden committee would like to thank Gabby Kent, Chris Kent and Tim for graciously helping out with the organization and support of these activities on the day.