Small ideas, big impact for pupils

St Lawrence Primary School Derrimut student Amber with the 'Plains Wanderer Encloser' model that she made with her classmates. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Alesha Capone

More than 130 pupils from schools in Wyndham and Brimbank visited Werribee Open Range Zoo recently to share ideas about how to create a more sustainable future.

The youngsters came together for the zoo’s Love your Locals Day, where they were asked: How can we create a Victorian Western Region that is sustainable for people and creates safe habitats for animals such as the Eastern barred bandicoot, the orange-bellied parrot or the Plains-wanderer?

Afterwards, the pupils presented their ideas to each other and zoo staff.

The event also included interactive games, tree planting and Australian animal workshops.

Love Your Locals Day is a collaboration between Werribee Open Range Zoo, Wyndham and Brimbank city councils and local primary schools.

In eight years of the program, more than 850 young nature lovers have visited the zoo.

“With a growing number of environmental concerns, it is so important that our young people are empowered to take action,” Werribee Open Range Zoo’s learning experiences manager Kirsten Ryan said.

“Every year we are inspired by what these young environmental leaders come up with.

“If we all make changes in our own back yards – no matter how small – collectively, we can make a huge difference.

“That’s what Love Your Locals Day is all about.”