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Last updated 11:16 PM on 8 October 2011

 This article appeared in the latest edition of Side by Side the Dept of Education's staff journal

On yer bike in the bush

15 November 2010




Fun on bikes ... Luke Brown (Bournda EEC), and children from Merimbula Public School


Photo supplied by DOUG RECKORD



Bournda National Park is playing a high-profile role in educating students on the south coast.

Recently a group of Year 5 students from Merimbula Public School brought their bikes to Bournda for a day of riding along the national park's roads and tracks. 

Bournda Environmental Education Centre staff assisted teachers Megan Young, Eva Mutch and Peter Claxton with their students to experience an excursion with a difference. 

It was a fitting activity for Outdoor Education Week, with about 60 Merimbula students riding their bikes in a safe and convenient outdoor environment.

Bournda EEC staff said Bournda National Park was an ideal place for bike riding because of the variety of tracks available that students could use.

"The program was designed to introduce students to bike care and maintenance, safe cycling and cycling skills," said Bournda EEC principal Doug Reckord.

"Ben Parker from Sportspower came to talk to the students about how to care for their bikes and route plans were developed so that each class experienced riding on both dirt road and tracks."

At the end of the program students played a range of games while riding their bikes. 

Also recently, 12 students from Bega High School volunteered for a three-day Landcare camp at Bournda National Park during Landcare Week. 

A joint initiative of the Bournda EEC, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Far South Coast Landcare, the camp involved hands-on Landcare activities in Bournda National Park and Bournda Nature Reserve. 

Bournda Ranger Grant Brewer gave the students basic training in assessing fuel loads for prescribed burning programs and helped coordinate land and water management activities with assistance from Bournda EEC staff. 

Students searched Wallagoot Lake for the aquatic weed Caulerpa taxifolia and scoured the beaches for weeds such as Coastal Sea Spurge.

The experience was an adventure for the students as it involved moving around the park on bikes and kayaks.

 Mr Reckord said the students were fantastic to work with.

"The evaluations from the students at the end of the camp told us they learnt a lot from the sessions delivered by National Parks staff on fire and weed management."

Doug Reckord is the principal of Bournda Environmental Education Centre