Virtual festival connects families to nature

Charlotte Fletcher, Southern Brown Bandicoot outreach officer. Picture: SUPPLIED

As part of the Victoria Nature Festival between Saturday 11 and Sunday 26 September, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria will host a series of free digital and in person events dedicated to connecting people and families to nature and Country and improving wellbeing.

In partnership with the Department of Land, Water and Planning and other organisations across Victoria, the Gardens will explore the themes of Building Nature Stories Together and Sharing Nature Stories, encouraging visitors to act for nature and explore what can be done to care for the planet.

“This year, we welcome people of all ages to connect with nature during the Victoria Nature Festival, no matter where you are,” said Tim Entwisle, director and chief executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

“We hope that you find the online program informative, inspiring and refreshing.”

For those able to visit Melbourne or Cranbourne Gardens, augumented reality and the self-guided program Seeing the Invisible will turn the Gardens into a virtual art gallery, visible through a smartphone.

Children are also encouraged to explore their natural surrounds with Seek and Find Nature Cards.

During the festival, the Gardens will host two free live streamed events, A Virtual Walk on the Wild Side, a special forum about the rare and threatened plants growing at Cranbourne Gardens and how home gardeners can help, and Bandicoots in our Backyards, an opportunity to learn about endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots.

A full suite of videos will also be available on the Gardens’ Virtual Garden webpage.

Audiences can unwind and relax with nature journaling, forest therapy or harp meditations.

Those interested in learning from Gardens scientists and other experts can watch videos about fungi, responding to climate change, orchid conservation, wild-collecting of plants and more.

To connect to Country, Explore Long Island with Aboriginal Guide Jakobi, take the Australian Forest Walk with Kalkani Choolburra or learn more about bushfoods.

There are videos specifically for young people too: about endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots, nature journaling, and the wonderful world of cacti.

All videos can be found via this link: