LIGHTNING SWAMP will become a learning hub to help kids reconnect with nature.
Friends of Lightning Swamp chair John Williams made a deputation to Bayswater council asking for a spot at adjacent Lightning Park to set up a transportable building as a learning space across the road from the swamp, as Perth’s shrinking remnant bushland over the decades has meant fewer youngsters have easy access to the environment.
“Lightning Swamp is the only remnant seasonal wetlands merging with natural banksia woodlands in the City of Bayswater, and likely one of the last surviving few in the Perth metropolitan area,” Mr Williams said.
It was becoming ever more important for kids to connect with nature: “As we confront the impact of urbanisation, climate, habitat loss, pollution etcetera contributing to biodiversity loss which threatens the health of highly valued ecological communities, it is also a time when many young children do not have the opportunities or abilities of learning to live with nature, nor can they develop the important skills and lifelong experiences to connect with natural environments as we fortunately drew upon when growing up.”
In the long term the Friends group wants to find enough funding for a permanent facility at Lightning Park but for now they’ve secured a $50,000 state grant for a temporary transportable building to serve as a visitor learning space.
Bayswater council unanimously approved a five-year, $1 per annum lease for the Friends to use the spot last week. Mayor Filomena Piffaretti said: “The space will help provide educational opportunities to school children and the community so they can discover how important the area is for biodiversity and our ecosystem.
“Schools will be able to develop and coordinate multi-sensory outdoor activities based at the new centre to learn more about the bushland.”
Cr Piffaretti said the council’s still keen to help the group make the more permanent facility happen in the long run.
by DAVID BELL