Flora (plants)

Nature-scrolling activity

A nature scroll is simply a long, narrow piece of paper used to record your responses to nature, in words and pictures.  It can be a portable, bite-sized alternative to nature journalling and a wonderful way for your students to engage with their local environment or make observations whilst at your adopted water testing site.  Make it scientific, make it artistic or both !

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

The Riparian Revegetator video

The riparian zone is the area between the land and a river or creek. Plants that thrive in this zone are known as riparian vegetation.

The Riparian Revegetator tells the story of how, over the last three decades, Paul has transformed his land in Gippsland from a degraded and barren farm into a thriving environment, acting as a critical refuge for the local beasties.

This is a great example of what landholders can achieve to enhance the health of waterways

  • Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Linking the Landscape – The Cobaw Biolink video

This video by Newham Landcare promotes the important role of the Cobaw Biolink in enhancing the connections between Mount Macedon and the Cobaw Range on both private and public land. Protecting existing high quality vegetation and creating connectivity in the biolink will help native plants and animals adapt to climate change.

The video aims to engage the community and make them aware that their contribution, no matter how big or small, can have a positive impact on the environment on a landscape scale, making catchments and waterways healthier and everything that relies on them.

  • Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • North Central CMA, Melbourne Water,

2021 Environmental/Cultural Celebration Dates

Schools and the community are invited to recognise and celebrate significant environmental / cultural days each year; some are regional, some national and some international.  Many of these days tie in perfectly with the ethos of the River Detectives program and provide valuable opportunities to broaden and deepen environmental learning, explore curriculum links, make meaningful connections with other organisations and community groups and encourage your students to advocate on a range of environmental and cultural issues.

Check out this calendar (embedded with loads of links) and go wild !!

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Cultural Fire and Healing Yorta Yorta Country video

Listen to Yorta Yorta man Ralph Hume discuss cultural fire and healing country at the 2019 National Indigenous Fire Workshop near Dhungala (Murray River), Victoria, Yorta Yorta Woka (Yorta Yorta Country).

A very interesting insight into how the landscape has changed since European settlement, why the riparian environment we see today is not considered healthy by traditional owners and how it can be healed.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions, North Central CMA,

Weaving activity

Use natural items found at your local waterway or bushland, in your school yard or home garden to make a weaving like the one pictured at the link above.  Hang it somewhere special to connect you with nature.

  • Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

What’s In Your Habitat ? activity sheet

Use this simple template to challenge students to sit quietly outside and record what they see, hear and smell using words/sketches.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Nature Journalling activity

Be inspired by these images of nature journals and start recording the things you see, hear, touch and smell at your local waterway or anywhere in nature.  Sit for a while and observe, notice the small things and hone into colours, sounds, textures, shapes and movement.  Sketch, note or photograph your discoveries.  Journal throughout a year and record the seasonal changes you observe.

  • Activity Sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Mandala Art

Making a nature mandala is a great activity to tune into the colours, shapes and textures of natural objects at your waterway.  Collect some treasures, plan a design and create a masterpiece.  Ideally, this is done by the waterway where collected materials can stay on site.  If collecting from your waterway and completing the activity back at school, try to return the materials later.

Extension: find objects in nature that are mandalas in themselves.  See this article for examples.

  • Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Seasonal Calendars

Aboriginal people traditionally lived by seasonal calendars not dictated by the conventions of summer, autumn, winter and spring but by the changes they observed in nature throughout a year.

This is one example of a Kulin Nation seasonal calendar.  You might be able to source one that is more specific to the traditional owners of your area ?

Click here for an outline of the Wotjobaluk seasonal calendar for the Wimmera-Mallee area or view another version at the Visit Grampians website.

Click here to watch a video about Dja Dja Wurrung seasons.

Keep observations of your waterway and local catchment throughout a year with your students and make your own text or pictorial calendar inspired by a traditional seasonal version or this riparian/agricultural example from the North Central CMA. . . . .or combine the two !

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions, North Central CMA, Wimmera CMA,

Edithvale-Seaford Wetland video series

These six educational videos focus on the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands in the Melbourne Water area, exploring their fauna and flora, rich history, role in providing drainage, and the community groups who play a key role in caring for them.

Get a well-rounded understanding of the wetland’s many diverse roles, by watching the full video series: Animals of the wetland    Birds of the wetland      Drainage story of the wetland

Friends of the wetlands    History of the wetland     Plants of the wetland

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Melbourne Water,

Backyard Buddies website

If you are looking to find out more about the native fauna and flora at your waterway, home, school, etc this website is a great place to start.

Explore‘ your own piece of wilderness by reading profiles about native birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and some plant families.

Get busy with a project and ‘Create‘ buddy habitats for birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and plants.

Use the tips to ‘Help‘ a backyard buddy.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Plants of the Wetland video

Learn why plants are important to a wetland, and how some were used by indigenous people for food, fibre and medicine. Filmed at the Edithvale-Seaford wetlands where there are 87 plant species with records of Aboriginal use, this is a great video for students in any region to understand the role wetland plants play.

This is one of six educational wetlands videos featuring the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Garden Habitats for Small Aussie Birds

This video highlights suitable plants for three groups of small Australian birds; small honeyeaters, small insect-eaters and small seed-eaters. Boosting bird habitat at home, at school, at your River Detectives test site or in your local community is a great project to help our native feathered friends.  You may even be able to attract grant funding !

  • Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio,
  • All Regions,

Ten ways to improve the natural assets on a farm

Sustainable Farms is delighted to launch a new booklet, Ten ways to improve the natural assets on a farm. The booklet highlights ten discrete projects that landholders can undertake to improve the health of natural assets – such as dams, shelterbelts or riparian areas – on their properties.

The Ten Ways booklet highlights how one small change on a farm could create new habitat for native animals and lead to increased stock productivity. And these changes don’t have to be onerous or expensive – simply fencing a paddock tree or rocky outcrop can help protect these sensitive assets for the future.

This booklet, although written for adults, is a user-friendly guide for teachers and secondary students with information to inspire environmental action.

  • Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Geographic Concepts for a Floodplain and Catchment powerpoint slides

Want to know what some basic floodplain Geographic terms and concepts mean? Jeanie Clark from the Wimmera CMA put together the following three presentations to introduce the basic Geographic terms in a riverine landscape to teachers with little geographic training.  Click on the links below to access each one. The slides could also be used with upper primary/secondary students.  The Jeparit Showgrounds, Jeparit Primary School’s Waterwatch/ River Detectives site, was used as a local example to describe:

  • geographic features  –  of the site, the floodplain in which it  sits and the catchment that it belongs to. Names and explains some river processes that create them.
  • geographic terms  – the nine basic concepts in Geography: location; distance; scale; region; distribution; movement; spatial association; spatial interaction; and spatial change over time.
  • geographic changes over time  –  Follow the changes from 1996-2015 to see what happens to salinity, river height, erosion and vegetation changes through the Millenium Drought, return of flow, major flood and sustained levels at the site.

Jeanie is an ex-VCE Geography teacher and can be contacted through the Wimmera CMA for advice/support (time permitting).

 

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Catchment/Waterway photos

These photos of catchments, healthy and threatened waterways, wetlands and rehabilitation strategies can be used as a springboard for discussion, in conjunction with lessons in the Waterways Environmental Education Resource (see Topics-Waterways) or with some of the activities on the Waterways activity matrix found under the Dive Deeper tab.

  • All, Catchments, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Environmental Water in Northern Victoria

Many of Victoria’s rivers and wetlands have been modified to provide water vital for farms, homes and industry.  Water for the environment also benefits communities by improving conditions for fishing, camping and canoeing. Improved water quality can have economic benefits for irrigation and urban water supply.

This map shows how water for the environment will help improve and protect plants and animals in northern Victoria in 2020-21 but is of interest to all regions.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Map, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Importance of the Ground Storey

This resource developed by Goulburn-Broken CMA highlights the importance of ground storey to native fauna and catchments.  Ground storey is the layer of leaf litter and woody debris found on the ground and is often misunderstood as a mess or fire risk that must be cleaned up.

This guide with stunning nature photography can be used as a series of fact sheets for teacher background or student research.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Richardson River’s Journey posters

These two posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Richardson River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Re-snagging posters

These two posters are invaluable to explain the importance of in-stream woody habitat to native fish and explains some of the important work that is taking place in the lower Loddon River and the Little Murray River as part of the north central CMA’s native fish recovery plan.  Features include great photos, fact files, information and an excellent diagram outlining the threats and values in a waterway that impact on fish health.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Coliban River’s Journey poster

This poster is an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Coliban River – it’s;  source, path, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Avoca River’s Journey posters

These three posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Avoca River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Loddon River’s Journey posters

These three posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Loddon River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, history, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Campaspe River’s Journey posters

These two posters are an excellent resource for staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Campaspe River – it’s;  source, path, reaches, catchment, major towns, most notable features, flora, fauna and users.  The engaging format, stunning photos and user-friendly text makes it the perfect tool for teacher background, student-lead research and learning about an important waterway in the north central region.

  • All, Catchments, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Habitat Survey Data Sheet

Use this data sheet on site or at school to record your habitat survey results.  You can enter your habitat survey data online at the ‘Let’s Test and Record’ tab of this website.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Fish Need Trees poster

This beautiful graphic illustrates the variety of ways that fish use trees in and beside waterways and why it’s essential we retain and replace them.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

River Detectives Field Manual

This is a copy of the Field Manual you receive a version of in your water quality test kit.  If you lose your hard copy you can access it here.  Be aware that this is the full manual – some pages may be irrelevant to you depending on the equipment you have and the region you are in.

  • Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Water bugs, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Barwon River Planting Day video

Over 40 local recreational anglers braved wet and windy conditions in July 2019 to help revegetate the Barwon River. Thousands of native trees, shrubs and grasses were planted on the banks of the lower Barwon River near Marshall, south of Geelong, to return a one kilometre stretch of the river to its original woodland habitat.

This is a great example of working together to improve fish habitat.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • Corangamite CMA,

iNaturalist Citizen Science App Instructions

Instructions on how to download and use the iNaturalist app, developed by Corangamite CMA.

  • All, App, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants),
  • All Regions,

Wild Pollinator website

The Wild Pollinator Count gives you an opportunity to contribute to wild pollinator insect conservation in Australia. Twice a year (April and November) the community is invited to count wild pollinators in the local environment and help build a database on wild pollinator activity.

You can join in by watching any flowering plant for just ten minutes sometime in the count weeks.

  • You don’t need to be an insect expert.
  • You don’t need fancy gear.
  • You may be surprised by what you see!
  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Teacher, Website,
  • All Regions,

Woodend PS planting day video

In October 2019, the NCCMA worked with Coliban Water and Dja Dja Wurrung to hold a planting day on the banks of the Campaspe River with Grade 4 students from Woodend Primary School.

Students helped to plant some of the 20,000 native trees and shrubs, and learned about the positive impact the plants and fencing will have on water quality and catchment health.

  • All, Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Caring For The Campaspe project video

The Caring for the Campaspe project is the first large scale on-ground works project to deliver river health improvements for the Campaspe River from its headwaters near Ashbourne to the Murray River at Echuca.

Since 2012, the North Central CMA has been providing fencing, offstream watering, weed control and revegetation incentives to interested land managers on both public and privately owned along the river’s length.

This video is a great example of the great outcomes that can be achieved when passionate groups work together to improve river health.

  • Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

In Stream Habitat Poster

This poster is a fantastic resource to use during macroinvertebrate sampling sessions to demonstrate the five habitats that exist within a waterway;  on the surface (surface zone), in open water (deep zone), amongst vegetation (reed zone), on rocks/logs/gravel (substrate zone) and amid the sediment (benthic zone).  Use the links below to each quarter of the poster to print as A3, laminate and join for a class-size poster you can keep.

Top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

Use the information on the reverse of the  Water Bug pictures to have students place them in their correct habitat on the poster.

  • All, Flora (plants), Poster, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How Wolves Change Rivers video

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable changes occurred.  Although this is an American example, this video is a powerful example of how everything in nature is inextricably linked and one change can cause a ripple effect, in this case called a ‘trophic cascade’.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Video/Audio, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Riparian Zone Poster

An excellent graphic to highlight the key features of a healthy riparian zone compared to a degraded riparian zone.  Great for conversations about water quality, habitat health, land practices and shared community responsibility for the health of our waterways.

  • All, Catchments, Flora (plants), Poster, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Barapa Barapa Field survey plant guide

Find out more about plants in the Barapa Barapa region through pictures and descriptions of the plant, it’s habitat and it’s traditional uses.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Habitats near a waterway – fact sheet

Find out about the different habitats near and in a waterway and why they are important.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

What is the riparian zone? – fact sheet

The riparian zone is any land that adjoins, directly influences, or is influenced by a body of water. Find out what the values, threats and management concerns are.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,