By Derek Schlennstedt
Parks Victoria is inviting children and their families to have fun learning about nature by joining Junior Ranger activities this school holidays.
Park rangers host the free program which offers activities for children aged 6 to 12 and their families.
It is designed to get kids outdoors and teach them about Victoria’s wonderful plants, wildlife and amazing natural and cultural heritage, and this season also sees a great expansion for the number of activities available in the area, with 25 activities available in the Yarra Ranges National Park.
Six-year-old Anna Wood has been to five Junior Rangers activities and said she looks forward to them every school holidays.
“I love being a Junior Ranger because I get to learn hands-on about nature,” she said.
“My favourite experience was feeding a Tawny Frogmouth some dead chicken at Serendip Sanctuary.”
A number of programs are being run across the Yarra Ranges these holidays, including an alpine treasure hunt and discovery walk at Lake Mountain. The treasure hunt sees you head out into nature to discover colours, patterns, and textures of a diverse alpine environment.
Families can also explore the wonders of the rainforest at Mt Donna Buang’s Rainforest Gallery.
Park ranger Julia Pickwith said the program gives kids and parents the chance to explore and learn about animals and nature in their local area.
“It’s one of those beautiful tactile experiences – the kids can see what’s effectively the tallest plant in Australia and tallest moss in the same day.”
“We encourage kids to pick stuff up, smell stuff – provided they put everything back – we like to promote minimal impact … take home photos and leave only footprints.”
To find out more about the Junior Rangers Program go to https://juniorrangers.com.au/