The Baldivis Children’s Forest has served the local community as a centre point for environmental education since 2000. The primary focus of the organisation is ‘Conservation through Education’. This 20 hectare public park is 50 km south of Perth and has been created and maintained as a bushland reserve by children since it began in 2000. It now hosts multi-award winning educational and conservation programs. The Forest has walk trails, information signs, an outdoor classroom, toilets, electric BBQ, picnic areas, amphitheatre and artwork.
“Conservation through Education”
The purpose of the Baldivis Children’s Forest is:
• To provide educational opportunities for children and the wider community which promote biodiversity, conservation, sustainability, and Aboriginal cultural values and perspectives at Baldivis Children’s forest.
• To promote the formal management, conservation and rehabilitation of flora, fauna and fungi of Baldivis Children’s Forest, in order to sustain the biodiversity and ecological values of the area.
• To promote the use of Baldivis Children’s Forest for passive recreation.
• To promote and carry out activities that contribute to the implementation of strategies detailed in the Baldivis Children’s Forest Management Plan (2005 – 2010).
• To foster partnerships between children, community, industry, educational institutions and all levels of government.
• To inspire visitors and participants towards a lifelong commitment to “Conservation through Education”.
The Children’s Forest operates under 4 key guiding values:
1. Conservation through Education: building the capacity for the local and wider community to participate in the stewardship of their local bushland or marine environment is core to our work. Through a range of shared experiences participants learn the skills, ideas and ways of thinking necessary in preserving our natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
2. Partipation for all: no matter what age, cultural background, ability level or walk of life the forest strives to provide a balanced program that enables all members of the community to access a wide range of nature based experiences.
3. Leaders for the Future: the Children’s Forest provides a space where young people are able to grow into future leaders and stewards for our planet by engaging in real life decision making. Learning how the organisation runs, facilitating workshops and managing events are just some of the ways young people can connect, learn and grow into confident and resilient leaders in their communities.
4. Promote Innovation: through social enterprise, local and global networks and creative projects the Children’s Forest challenges the way we think about how conservation can become the responsibility of the whole community. We always endeavour to find ways to be innovative and achieve even better outcomes from the work we are doing.
The Baldivis Children’s Forest was created by a strong and dedicated local community. The group consisted of teachers, local government and local business people and of course local children. Through this initial work started in 1999 the forest grew into a family who worked tirelessly to raise the funds necessary to complete the multi-award winning work.
The strength of the forest is based on strong local community partnerships, a shared belief and passion towards the ongoing conservation of the site. Many of today’s current management team were young children when they first came to the forest. Their stories continue to grow with the Baldivis Children’s Forest.
Most children love getting their hands dirty! Each year children and the community plant over 4000 seedlings and are slowly transforming the farmland back into beautiful tuart woodland. Children may also weed and help to water planted areas as part of this activity to help seedlings survive and the Forest to grow.
These trees, shrubs and ground cover create safe and healthy environments for the many marsupials, reptiles, birds and invertebrates that make the forest home. Recently the forest has undertaken planting along the western side of the site to create banksia woodland. Like all our conservation work, this is part of a broader effort to restore banksia woodland across Perth’s Southern Metropolitan regions.
Community workshops and events are held regularly in the forest. To find out more check out our upcoming events page or our Facebook page