Park of the month – Youang/You Yangs Regional Park

The You Yangs, or Youang in language, is a very important place for Wadawurrung people. If you’re lucky, you might see Bundjil the Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring through the sky, keeping watch over the beautiful granite peaks in the middle of the plains. The You Yangs is a place where visitors can stop and appreciate culture and sustainability, as well as see an example of a special place that humans have long held a connection to.

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Plant of the month – Cherry Ballart

Who doesn’t love a good, juicy cherry? Well, what if we told you that there’s a native cherry found throughout Victoria!? But, unlike the cherries you’re probably familiar with, this native cherry grows its seed on the outside.

The Cherry Ballart is a small tree that kind of looks like a European cypress. It has soft, drooping green branches and teeny tiny leaves. This plant is a partial parasite. It uses the sun to make its own energy (through photosynthesis) but collects extra nutrients to grow big and strong by tapping into the roots of its neighbours – kind of like eating your own food at recess and then taking your friend’s lunchbox when they aren’t looking!

Credit: John Tann, 2012, Flickr

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Animal of the month – Bundjil, the Wedge-tailed Eagle

Wadawurrung believe Bundjil, the Wedge-tailed Eagle, is their creator spirit. Bundjil created the lands, waterways, native animals, and people. With a wingspan of 2.3 metres, you can see Bundjil soaring in the sky from a long distance away.

Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring through the sky

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Meet Ranger Eb from Geelong Area

Hey Junior Rangers,

My name is Ebonee Cook, I’m a Wadawurrung woman and I work on Country as a Community Engagement Ranger. Even though I work across the Geelong Area, I spend most of my time at the You Yangs and Serendip Sanctuary. I love my job because every day I get to connect with culture, educate the next generation about caring for Country and share knowledge with Junior Rangers and school students. It’s so much fun and really rewarding.

My favourite park is Youang, the Wadawurrung name for You Yangs Regional Park. Have you been there before? It’s a place on Wadawurrung Country where I feel strongly connected to my ancestors and to Elders who have walked before me. All around the park, I see evidence of their sustainable lifestyle and the ways that they have cared for and lived in harmony with Country through time.

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Park of the month – Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary

Have you seen the rock platform at low tide in this special sanctuary? It looks just like a mushroom! Hidey-holes in the ancient rocks form mini habitats for lots of marine life. Each season brings new things to see, so make sure you visit Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary many times through the year.

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Animal of the month – The Weedy Seadragon

Weedy Seadragons are masters of disguise. These gentle creatures love to hang out in Victoria’s shallow coastal waters – no wonder they are our state’s marine emblem!

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Plant of the month – Neptune’s Necklace

Have you ever found a string of beads in a rockpool? No, not the kind of beads that your aunty wears! We’re talking about Neptune’s Necklace. This special seaweed is only found in southern Australia and New Zealand.

Image credit: Julian Finn, Museums Victoria

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Meet Ranger Harry from East Port Phillip

Howdy Junior Rangers!

My name is Ranger Harry and I work in East Port Phillip on the land of the Boonwurrung people.  

East Port Phillip starts at Mentone and goes all the way to Portsea, the East Port Phillip Ranger team look after all the piers in between. Have you ever seen one of us patrolling the piers? Or maybe you’ve seen us in our patrol boat, “Gannet”, named after one of Port Phillip Bay’s local birds, the gannet. Gannets are an amazing sea bird who love to go fishing but they do it a little different to us. Gannets like to fly high in the sky above schools of fish, before folding their wings back and diving down into the water to grab a fish. It would be so cool to fly and swim. 

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Junior Rangers it’s time to meet Sami!

Hello Junior Rangers! My name is Sami and I am a Planning Officer for Parks Victoria. I live and work in Warrnambool at the end of the Great Ocean Road on Eastern Maar Country.

I spent 15 years as a Fire Fighter and Ranger before taking on my role as a Park Planner for Assets. So that’s all things built by humans in our parks such as lookouts, campgrounds, walking tracks and bridges.

Why did you become a ranger?

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Park of the month – Lysterfield Park

Discover the incredible diversity of birds and other native wildlife at Lysterfield Park while walking the perimeter of Lysterfield Lake and its impressive dam wall. So close to Melbourne, this park is a must-see for any Junior Ranger with a love of the water and relaxing walks in nature.

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