We started the day with a Discovery Coordinator from National Parks. She had some wonderful insights and references on Nature Deficit Disorder. Having grown up surrounded by nature and also spending weekends at the Western Plains Zoo I found it so sad to think that there are children out there that are scared of mud and their priority is how clean their clothes are. From a young age I was exposed to the idea of endangered species and I am so thankful that I have had a natural care towards conserving nature. It is sad to think that the majority of the population are pulling away from nature, it will make our job a lot harder.
Following the talk we went and met Wyn at the Grand Canyon this was a definite highlight for me so far. Getting so deep into the forest with someone as knowledgeable as Wyn was the most amazing experience. I am now hoping that Black Wattle is native to Dubbo as I would love to plant some, I thought it was so gorgeous. It was also great to much on eucalyptus leaves and listen to the history of the track, without the establishment of a hotel the track may never have existed! Just being able to get in and absorb nature really helped to reaffirm why I am doing the MEM. You can get bogged down with readings but being able to mix both was more my style of learning.
The next talk was with a National Parks area manager, this was the most educational talk around National Parks that we had. He held a lot of knowledge regarding all the issues facing the park. We were able to get some really good insight into just how difficult it would be to implement an admission fee to the park. It was also really good to hear his stance on bushfires. He believes in hazard reduction but acknowledges the role that science has to play and follows the prescribed guidelines on when the area should be burnt.
The second most exciting part of the day was going to Secret Creek in Lithgow. The work of Trevor and his volunteers is just amazing. Getting to see the quolls was a great highlight. It was also really interesting to listen to Trevor’s knowledge on Dingoes and his background was really unique.
So far two fabulous days just reaffirming the power of in the field learning.