During our recent conversation with Ken Beasley about Northern Bendigo Landcare Group’s planting for Planet Ark’s National Tree Day, he was busy preparing nest box flat packs for a local secondary college.
Ken is president of Northern Bendigo Landcare Group, treasurer of The Iron Gully Friends and chair of the Eastern Bendigo Landcare Network. The nest box building activity is just one of the many activities the retiree packs into his busy weekly schedule of meetings for local environmental groups, however it is a very important one.
“Young people don't seem to get exposed to nature to the extent we did back in my era,” said Ken.
Having grown up in Wycheproof, a rural town halfway between Melbourne and Mildura, Ken developed his passion for nature through regular outdoor activities such as fishing and rabbit catching with his father. Now, he actively seeks opportunities to share his environmental enthusiasm and encourage teenagers to explore the wonders of nature.
Through a nest box building activity at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, students gain practical hands-on skills constructing, assembling and painting the nest boxes ready for installation.
Students in the workshop constructing wooden nest boxes. (Image source: Ken Beasley)
Once constructed, the students also take part in monitoring the nest boxes as well as other environmental management activities like revegetation, water bug sampling and water quality testing at local sites managed by community groups.
According to Ken, the program not only teaches the students the importance of nature conservation but also equips them with valuable skills they can draw on later in life.
Students paint the nesting boxes to blend into the natural environment, ready for installation (Image source : Ken Beasley)
Through this initiative, Ken hopes to educate the students, providing them with valuable guidance and exposing them to new experiences that may pave the way for future employment opportunities requiring hands-on skills.
It can be impactful experiences like these that create a lifelong passion for the environment, benefiting wildlife for generations to come.
Find a National Tree Day planting near you and get involved.