City secures ClimateWatch trail for citizens

News article |

The Valley Lake/Kelta Malpi Conservation Park precinct is the site for only the second ClimateWatch trail in South Australia.

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board in conjunction with City of Mount Gambier will launch the recently established ClimateWatch trail in the Valley Lakes precinct on Friday 6 October 2023.

ClimateWatch is an initiative of EarthWatch Australia, Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Melbourne. The concept involves members of the general public downloading the ClimateWatch App and then recording observations of plant and animal species they encounter as they walk along the trail.

The ClimateWatch App is free to download and will assist with data collection available to climate change scientists across Australia.

Vanessa Freebairn, Landscape Education Officers said, "The ClimateWatch trail will allow anyone in the community that enjoys spending time at the Valley Lakes to record seasonal observations quickly and easily on the App such as when the wattle trees start flowering or frogs start calling. Collecting this type of citizen science data can be very useful in monitoring climate variations. We are thrilled to be able to offer the second ClimateWatch trail in the state to the community of the Limestone Coast".

City of Mt Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said, "Together with the Limestone Coast Landscape Board we are excited to offer this community trail to the region. it will encourage local families and visitors to explore the new trail and the data collected will be beneficial to future generations."

"Council encourages locals and visitors alike to explore our unique natural environment. The trail represents a fantastic means to engage with nature and observe changes in our local species over time. Nature is fascinating, and the tools developed for the trail assist with learning more about our amazing local flora."

Being able to be out in nature on the trail to appreciate all aspects of the landscape gives the community an opportunity to connect, whilst also learning more about particular plant and animal species that call the Valley Lakes home.

The trail will be officially open to the public on Friday 6 October, with staff from the Limestone Coast Landscape Board and City of Mount Gambier on hand to assist with the use of the App and guide tours of the trail. The community will then be free to use the trail App to record observations whenever they visit the Valley Lake Conservation Park.

Families are encouraged to attend the launch during the school holidays with free activities for children such as storytelling and cubby building, and a sausage sizzle to conclude the day.

To register your attendance please visit https://rb.gy/zsr3x

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