Spring into science

Get your kids out in nature over spring to enjoy the sunshine and learn about your local environment. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

A raft of COVID-safe events this spring is the perfect opportunity to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and learn about your local environment.

Spring is when your backyard and local parks and gardens come to life. Birds are busy, reptiles are waking up and flowers are showing off.

The North Central Catchment Management Authority has collated a series of events to celebrate National Water Week and the arrival of spring, and you can do them all in your neighbourhood.

“Spring into Citizen Science aims to connect the community to nature, as well as get them involved in gathering important information about the world around them,” North Central CMA citizen science coordinator Tania Macleod said.

“By simply collecting little bits of information, you can become a citizen scientist and help researchers understand more about the health of our natural world.

“There are no age limits to taking part, and all the activities are perfect for the whole family.”

The Great Southern Bioblitz runs from October 22 to 25 and encourages community members to record what’s around them.

“Citizen scientists from across the southern hemisphere will record all the living species in their part of the world,” Ms Macleod said.

“All you need to do is download the iNaturalist app and make observations during the collection period.

“There are three registered projects in our area, and if you live anywhere in our catchment you can click on our event and make observations from wherever you are.

“It’s simple, and a lot of fun.”

Other Spring into Citizen Science events include the Australian Backyard Bird Count form October 18 to 24, the Great Australian Platypus Search until November 21, and the chance to identify local pollinators during Australian Pollinator Week from November 13 to 21.

“During National Water Week from October 18 to 24, Coliban Water is hosting Explore your Backyard, a series of free online sessions to encourage people to grow their gardening skills and explore their local neighbourhood,” Ms Macleod said.

“The activities include sessions for children of all ages, as well as a heap of activities adults can also get involved in.

“Just remember to follow current COVID-19 safety guidelines when taking part.”

To find out more about Spring into Citizen Science, visit the events page at www.nccma.vic.gov.au