Park hits 22,000 mark

Education

STAFF from the Education department of Port Moresby Nature Park celebrated the inaugural International Day of Zoo and Aquarium educators recently.
The park reflected on successfully educating around 22,000 NCDC and Central school children this year who have visited the park on excursion.
The day was established by the International Zoo Educators’ Association in recognition of the important role that zoo educators play in conservation education and in educating the public to take conservative action around the world.
The Nature Park started its school excursion programme in 2012 with 2400 students attending.
Through the sponsorship supported by the NCDC, ExxonMobil PNG and Zoos Victoria, Nature Park has now employed more educators, bought new bus to collect students and training in delivering school excursion programmes.
This has enabled the park to continue to grow with its programmes, engaging around 80,000 students who are now participating or have participated in an excursion programme since 2012.
“The value of a school excursion on children’s education cannot be underestimated,” said Nature Park general manager Michelle McGeorge.
“Children learn best when they are engaged.
“The park’s programmes allow students to touch, smell, see and hear nature. It is the memories of their visits to the Nature Park that shape future careers in biology, conservation sciences, veterinary medicine and horticulture.”
Life sciences manager Ishimu Bebu, who manages both the education and wildlife departments, said Nature Park’s education team were currently developing new and exciting programmes for next year, and the year ahead will include more interactive and engaging activities for students.
In May of this year, Port Moresby Nature Park won an international zoo educators’ award from the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia for its conservation programmes titled, ‘City kids don’t eat bush meat, don’t buy native animals as pets, and lukautim bilus bilong yu’.
Bebu accepted the award on behalf of the education team at an awards ceremony held in Wellington, New Zealand.

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