What did you get up to over the Easter holidays? While staying at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Charli, Zoe and Joshua along with lots of other Junior Rangers were busy discovering nature in their own backyards. As our Easter program went digital, our JR families were encouraged to try out some fun activities to get to know their backyards a little better.
From bird watching to night-time critter sounds, our young rangers got to experience nature that was right under their noses. To add to the challenge, we asked everyone who completed an activity to send their treasure hunts, bird observations, creature features, and whatever else they had done, into us so we could see all the wonderful experiences that were happening around their homes. The response was amazing, and we could tell straight away that everyone was having lots of fun.
Here are some of the entries from our winners…
Macpac, our principal partner of the Junior Rangers program offered two families the chance to win a voucher to spend on their next essential outdoor item and we’re so glad that we could do it at random as it would have been so hard to choose!
You can see that our winners, Charli, Joshua and Zoe sent in some wonderful activity sheets, photos and drawings about their backyard encounters which we loved. Here is a little more about why they got involved with the Junior Rangers program and what they love about their own backyards…
Charli, aged 11 from Mornington Peninsula has been a Junior Ranger for over two years. Charli could remember two Junior Ranger activities with our rangers, where she went along with her brother and sister, Will and Milly. One was at Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and the other at Arthurs Seat. Coolart was great because there was lots of bird watching and Arthur seat’s fun because they got to try and identify different animal poo. She particularly remembers the green square poo belonging to a wombat.
Charli enjoyed our nature treasure hunt and our creature feature activities over the Easter holidays because she could combine her love of arts and crafts and birds. In fact, Charli loves birds so much, she helps her family care for the finches they breed in their back yard. “There is so much to love about my backyard,” says Charli. Apart from the two budgies that belong to her, there is a possum that nests in the tree and Charli loves the liquid amber tree because the leaves are a lovely colour this time of year. Her favourite bird? All parrots! Charli often sees rainbow lorikeets them flying over her house. What a great backyard to be exploring and a worthy winner of our Macpac competition. Thanks, Charli.
Winners of our $100 Macpac voucher, brother and sister Joshua and Zoe, gave us an insight into their Junior Rangers activities by way of video interview surrounded by their incredible backyard bush. First Zoe interviewing Joshua and then Joshua interviewing Zoe. Here’s what they had to say…
Thanks to everyone who sent in their activities. Whatever your backyard there is always something to spot, even in the city! Look out for more of your entries online as we’ll be posting others on our Parks Victoria Facebook page.
Our competition has closed for now but you can still download all our activities on our Make & Do page. Why not check it out? We’d love to hear from you.
Over the Easter school holidays, the Junior Ranger program will be a little bit different from what you might have been expecting. .. During this holiday period, we’ve gone digital!
Throughout the two weeks , we are sending our subscribers a selection of activities every few days designed to help continue their Junior Ranger journey at home.
These activities are guiding Junior Rangers and their families through a range of different ways to explore, play, create and learn all about the nature all around them. The activities that arrive in their inbox are completely doable from home!
Thanks to our principal partners Macpac, who support our team to be able to provide the Junior Ranger program to the community, we also have an exciting competition running!
The Junior Ranger program is run every school holidays. Summer, spring, winter and autumn. Each season, there is something different to explore, whether it’s dipping your toes into sparkling rockpools or getting up early to find our feathered friends. Two weeks before each holidays, look at the What’s On listing for more information about activities in a park near you.
But what can you expect when you come along to a Junior Ranger activity with a Parks Victoria ranger?
As January came to an end, so did our 2020 Junior Ranger summer program. This year, it included a brand new activity at Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park to connect young people to the local Wadawurrung Aboriginal culture, early European history, marine life and habitats.Coastal Connections helps young people recognise the impacts of European settlement, understand the importance of preserving cultural sites and develop a deeper respect for and interest in Aboriginal culture.
“I grew up in Point Lonsdale, sadly with very little exposure to Aboriginal culture as a kid. To be able to help younger generations learn about Aboriginal culture and history in the town I grew up in is really rewarding,” says Lachlan, Ranger who helped build and deliver the activity. (more…)
Use the QuestaGame app to submit sightings of the life you find as you explore the participating Victorian parks between 23rd September and 8th October, 2017. Also complete any of the Junior Rangers ‘park quests’ for bonus gold, and a chance to win one of the ‘Quest Hero’ prizes!
Register to play and view the results: https://questagame.com/junior-rangers
The Junior Ranger BioBlitz found lots of amazing plants and animals in parks during the 2016 spring holidays.
In total, 400 observations of 165 different species were made by 59 Junior Ranger observers.
Check out the full results here: www.inaturalist.org/projects/parks-victoria-bioblitz
Check out the new Adventure Trails at Brimbank and Werribee parks!
Adventure Trails encourage you to explore further than before discovering new plants, animals, special places and hidden trails along the way.
How cool! Google’s street view has taken a dive underwater. You can now explore the world’s oceans from home to find playful seals, Blue Gropers, Port Jackson Sharks and lots of other unique marine plants and animals.
Even cooler is that you can see many of these animals for real just off our coastline! Grab and adult and a snorkel and head to one of our 24 marine protected areas dotted along the coastline to see diverse and colourful animals. Little fish, big fish, sponges, kelp and seagrass meadows are waiting for you to explore while the water is warm. You might even be lucky enough to spy a Weedy Seadragon drifting about jetties, definitely not seen in the google images as it only lives in the southern waters of Australia. Don’t forget the camera!
Take a look outside – can you see or hear a bird calling? They’re in your backyard, at the playground and even in the trees at school. This week is national Bird Week, and to celebrate we’ve created a new Bird Watching activity for you to try. Head out to your local park to see if you can spot some locals, discover where they live and what different kinds of birds like to eat. Best of luck Junior Rangers!
Exciting news Junior Rangers! To celebrate our love for Victoria’s national parks, and the role Parks Victoria plays in managing fire in these special places, we’ve got tickets to Disney’s new animation Planes Fire and Rescue. And best of all, we’d like to invite you to come along!