As a result of the catastrophic 2019 /2020 Black Summer bushfires a significant amount of natural habitat has been destroyed. Local families have seen first-hand the loss of diversity of animals and birds in the local area.
This project looked to make a small local change to animal habitat and empower local children aged 7 to 10 years old, to make a positive change within a bushfire affected community.
The project involved a local scouting group (Cub Pack) building 17 animal nesting boxes. These boxes were to be installed in the fire-affected community of Sarsfield in East Gippsland. Through the project the children learned about animals that use nesting boxes and more about the impact of the local bushfires on wildlife.
The project successfully helped make positive change in the mental health for young people (Scouts) and East Gippslanders impacted by the bushfires.
Watching the Scouts listen and interacting with Pete Simpson (DELWP) as he talked about the bushfire impacts and importance of Nesting Boxes, it was clear all participants saw the value in the work they were doing. Building the boxes, it was great to see smiling faces learning new skills (e.g. using a drill/painting) and the sense of satisfaction they showed when the builds were complete.
During Bob, Virginia and Anthony’s presentations (all impacted by bushfires) the Scouts were respectful, listening carefully and asking great questions. Watching the installation of the boxes gave the Scouts a strong sense of connection between the problem and solution (“That’s my box up there!”), while leaving Haggars Road in Sarsfield at the end of the night after hanging all the boxes, it was clear that everyone knew and felt they’d made a difference.
This project could not have occurred without the generous support of many individuals and organisations (acknowledged below).