OUR PEOPLE

Busselton Environment Centre partner with Undalup Association to create outdoor classroom

Nature play: Busselton Environment Centre and Undalup Association members unite for a project to turn Barnard Park East into outdoor classroom. Picture: Jemillah Dawson
Nature play: Busselton Environment Centre and Undalup Association members unite for a project to turn Barnard Park East into outdoor classroom. Picture: Jemillah Dawson

As you drive along the Busselton foreshore, you see the ocean, sand, playgrounds and buildings. But as you drive further east, there is a special pocket of land that has been fenced off and protected since 2019.

This piece of land is where the Busselton Environment Centre and Undalup Association hope to create an outdoor classroom.

The outdoor classroom aims to provide a learning platform for activities such as exploring native flora and fauna, planting seedlings, possum spotlighting, outdoor treasure hunts and learning about Wadandi cultural connectivity to country.

Environment centre project officer Silke Rothkamm said the piece of land was significant as it was the last bit of bushland along the foreshore of Busselton.

The outdoor classroom is just the first piece of the puzzle to transform the space to include include bushwalk trail, interpretive signage, nature playground, picnic area and an Aboriginal art space.

The outdoor classroom will have a circular design made of natural materials including tree logs and stumps as seats and tables and will be nestled amongst native bushes and trees, next to the Barnard Park East nature reserve's wildlife sanctuary.

The project is part of the City of Busselton's You Choose Funding Program where residents can vote for community projects to receive funding.

Undalup Association cultural custodian Wayne Webb said it was a good initiative that would allow people young and old to learn about bushtucker, possums and cultural memories.

He said the old people used to camp along the area and it was important to protect those memories.

Sandra Hill said the place was a "possum supermarket in the heart of Busselton".

"We're going to make it a beautiful place where all the community can share," she said.

There are 26 projects people can vote on, with voting closing on February 17.

For more information on the projects and program, visit yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au/you-choose.