Explore a world of wetlands

WORLD Wetlands Day is coming to Lauderdale on Sunday 4 February.

Supported by Clarence City Council, Sorell Council and NRM South, the Lauderdale event is part of an international movement to raise awareness about the value and benefits of wetland environments.

World Wetlands Day coordinator Sharon Kent said the day would be fun, free and family-friendly.

She said there would be plenty of stalls, displays, activities, art, craft and music on offer.

“This year we really wanted to give people plenty of choices and experiences on the day,” she said.

“This might be anything from going along to an expert-led wetlands tour and listening to a song about caring for wetlands to creating some beautiful wetlands-themed art to take home.”

Rock painting, origami, face-painting, constructing frog puppets and making a mini native grass greenhouse will be just some of the alternatives on offer from this year’s stallholders.

Art activities on the day will include weaving a water spider and other wetland water beasties with renowned fibre artist Gwen Egg and screen-printing wetland creatures onto calico bags with Eve Smith, fabric artist of Sea Urchin Designs.

For the science buffs, The Waterbug Company will be helping identify local wetland mini-beasts and experts will be on hand to talk about the Lauderdale Wetlands and suitable coastal natives for local gardens.

Also adding to the festivities will be an afternoon music program featuring musicians fresh from the Cygnet Folk Festival, a free barbecue and food vans.

Several expert-led tours will run at 9.30am and 12noon.

Dr Eric Woehler, bird conservationist and president of Birdlife Tasmania, will be providing telescopes on the Lauderdale foreshore to spot resident and migratory shorebirds.

Vishnu Prahalad, a saltmarsh expert from UTAS and author of ‘Guide to the Plants of Tasmanian Saltmarsh Wetlands’, will be exploring the Dorans Road Saltmarshes.

In keeping with this year’s World Wetlands Day theme of ‘urban wetlands’, Clarence City Council’s Phil Watson will guide people around the Roscommon Constructed Wetlands – a thriving wetland ecosystem that mitigates flooding and stormwater to significantly improve water quality before it flows into Ralphs Bay.

World Wetlands Day will be held at the Lauderdale School Hall from 10am to 3.30pm.

For a special ‘taster’ of the event, local frog finding and expert-led saltmarsh and bird tours will be held at the Blue Lagoon, Dodges Ferry on Saturday 3 February from 3pm to 5pm.

For more information, visit www.nrmsouth.org.au/our-wonderful-wetlands.

Caption: The Roscommon Constructed Wetlands in Lauderdale will be a centrepoint of the World Wetlands Day event on Sunday 4 February.