Lifestyle

Kids: Park yourself right here

By Riverine Herald

PARKS Victoria is on the look out for wildlife detectives to join its junior ranger activities these school holidays.

Park rangers host the free program which offers activities for children aged 6 to 12 and their families. It is designed to get children outdoors and teach them about Victoria’s wonderful plants, wildlife and amazing natural and cultural heritage.

Forty activities will be held across Northern Victoria, including at Wharparilla, Echuca where children will have the opportunity to become a wildlife detective by learning the secrets of the bush.

This activity is suitable for children aged 6-12, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 18 or over.

‘‘The variety of activities we run in our junior ranger program helps engage kids and families in exploring the natural world around them,” said Parks Victoria education and interpretation officer James Adams.

‘‘At Parks Victoria, we believe that nature is essential for human health and wellbeing, and everyone should have the opportunity to connect with nature, especially children,’’ Mr Adams said.

‘‘Spending time playing and learning outdoors provides children with developmental benefits such as improved physical and mental health and social connections. All the activities are designed to inspire curiosity.’’

Six-year-old Anna Wood has been to five junior rangers activities and looks forward to them every school holidays.

‘‘I love being a junior ranger because I get to learn hands-on about nature,’’ she said.

Maree Douglas, mother of junior ranger Sebastian Bridle, said she and her son loved the activities.

‘‘It’s so important for kids to be outside and learning about nature,’’ she said.

‘‘Ranger Millie was fantastic with the kids and we can’t wait for the next school holiday junior ranger program.’’

All activities are free but bookings are essential and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all sessions.

Visit www.juniorrangers.com.au for activity locations and dates, and to register your attendance.

For information, call Parks Victoria on 131963.