There are 2 types of programs available, Briars Programs which are more structured and in depth and the Expo Paddock where children are free to explore the displays and activities available with an adult supervisor. Many of the activities are manned by community group volunteers and students from local secondary schools.
All activities are linked to the Victorian Curriculum.
Briars programs run for a half day and are only available for year 1-6. These are more in depth programs. Schools choose one of the four programs –Engaging with Nature, Indigenous Connection to Country, Homestead Heritage and Sustainable Living (Yrs 3-6 only) with children exploring two areas in their chosen program. Each program will have a maximum of 60 students.
ENGAGING WITH NATURE THROUGH MINDFULNESS & ART – Students connect with nature through meditative, sensory and creative experiences. Environmental Art with Amanda Nelson: Students will explore nature based weaving techniques to reflect on woodlands and wetlands around them. They will experience the Briars Nature Nook, checking for birds, bats and wildlife in the nesting boxes and reading interpretive signs. Sensory Walk and Exploration of the Wetlands/Woodlands: Students will move along the Wetlands boardwalk with assistance from BERG facilitators, stopping to explore the sounds, plants and animals. Mindfully, they’ll map sounds in the Briars Wetlands and also feel, observe and sketch birds with Birdlife Mornington Peninsula They might even get close and personal with the resident emus and wallabies.
INDIGENOUS – Local leaders guide students through two activities; learning about Victorian Aboriginal Culture while tasting Australian bush tucker and exploring Aboriginal bush craft, language and community. Peninsula local indigenous man Lionel Lauch shares his extensive knowledge of local food and fibre plants and wetlands flora. He leads children through the wetlands, exploring how the plants are harvested and used. He shows students what the traditional people have known and used for everyday food, medicine and utensils from the bush.
HOMESTEAD HERITAGE– The Briars Homestead was home to Alexander Beatson Balcombe from 1846 and stayed in that family until 1976. Compare life in the period of the Briars Homestead and life today. Discover how sustainability was alive and well in the 1800’s as the family coped in an isolated colony where “reduce, reuse and recycle” were common practices. Walk through the heritage vegetable garden check out the pumpkins, carrots, strawberries and many more and the organic principles used in growing food then and now. Examine and plant heritage seeds and meet and feed the friendly farm animals.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING – Years 3-6 can explore the Eco Living Display Centre and learn about living green. See first-hand how you can reduce waste within the home and learn about decomposition rates. Investigating what things influence energy efficiency. Explore Renewable energy with Monash Prime Science Team with hands on science activities to create and measure energy.
Environment Week 2019 was held from 25th – 28th March 2019. Nearly 2000 students attended over the four days. We are sorry you have missed out this year but keep an eye out for information about E Week 2020
Schools may book into one Briars program and the Expo Paddock or they may book into the Expo Paddock for the whole day. Please note that morning groups are welcome to stay for the lunchtime entertainment from 11.30am – 12.15pm. Afternoon groups are welcome to come early for the entertainment.
The Expo Paddock has a range of activities set up in marquees.There are an increasing number of community groups and educational institutions who volunteer their time to educate our students about the environment and provide activities for the children. Fishcare, SPIFFA, Animalia, Mt Martha CFA, Friends of the Hooded Plover, Mt Eliza SC, Western Port SC, Somerville SC and Balcombe Grammar have been great supporters over the past few years. ,We also have Bunnings and Woolworths who have been great supporters of E Week over many years and demonstrate environmental concerns as well as sponsoring our event in kind.We also employ some environmental presenters including Andrew Wegener Wildlife and Southern Ocean Marine Education. We would like to thank all the presenters and volunteers who help to connect children with the environment and with their local community.
Andrew Wegener Wildlife
Animalia Wildlife Shelter
Bunnings Veggie Patch
Bunnings Composting & Worm Farms
CFA Keeping the Bush Safe
Fishcare – Sustainable Fishing
Marine Education Dolphin Research Institute
Natural Event Composting Poo
Recycling on the Peninsula
Friends of the Hooded Plover
Landcare Puppet Show
Cranbourne Botanic Gardens
Wildlife Friendly Backyards – SPIFFA
Kids Teaching Kids – Carrum PS, Osborne PS, St Macartens and St Josephs Crib Point
Thin Green Line – Protecting the Protectors
Woolies Waste Warriors & Wonky Veggies
Water Smart – Local secondary colleges