WWD plans for the Shortland Wetland Centre, Australia

19/01/1998

[reprinted from Wetland Link International News, no. 13 (January 1998), pp. 6-7, published by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, UK]

....from The Wetlands Centre, Shortland, Australia

Here's something to try for World Wetlands Day on 2 February!

Last year, The Wetlands Centre hosted a special event for World Wetlands Day called "Buskers with the Birds". It was a big success. The event focused on music and food, and was attended by about 1500 excited children and adults.

Events were opened officially by Professor Max Maddock, our former Honorary Executive Director and now our Chairman of the Board of Directors. Activities were on offer between 10 am and 4 pm. They included buskers (street entertainers) situated in various outdoor locations around the Centre, international food, guided walks around our wetlands, a wetlands film festival in the Centre's lecture theatre, and garden walks conducted by the Australian Plant Society (whose members do an enormous amount of voluntary planting and rehabilitation work at Shortland). Visitors could also choose to take a bus trip to the Ash Island Kooragang wetland rehabilitation project site, or enjoy the World Wetlands Day exhibition in the classroom. Children were delighted to take part in a poster competition.

Arranged specially for the event, a vintage two-storey bus took visitors to The Wetlands Centre free of charge from the local town centre. A small entry fee was charged at the Centre, to help cover costs.

The delicious international food was provided by a hard-working group of volunteers and some local restaurant owners. Our local (Elemore Vale) Lions Club provided a delicious barbecue, the income from which was given to the Centre. The Centre's usual Café Jacana menu was also available.

The success of this event would not have been possible without the help of the many volunteers that continually support the Centre. Other organisations that assisted with the event were the 1997 Newcastle Bicentennial Committee, Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project, Hunter Catchment Management Trust, Awabakal Field Studies Centre, and corporate sponsors including Peabody, Goninian Quality, Shell and Pacific Power. The interest and cooperation shown by these groups allows Shortland Wetlands Centre to continue with its objective of educating the community, through recreation, about the importance of wetlands. The event was such a success that we will repeat it annually to celebrate World Wetlands Day, to promote wetlands to more and more people.

Donna Marshall, Business and Marketing Manager, The Wetlands Centre, Sandgate Road, Shortland, NSW, P0 Box 292, Wallsend 2287, Australia.

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