CVA Updates

Children’s Nature Blocks Workshop: A Fun and Educational Event

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has extended its successful Nature Blocks™ campaign by launching a kid-friendly version of the activity in Brisbane last week. Young Nature Stewards from around Brisbane and beyond gathered to test their knowledge of nature and their Nature Block building skills!

What are Nature Blocks™?

The centerpiece of the event was the formation of Nature Blocks™. Nature Blocks™ are a national initiative that encourages participants to build a native garden. It can be of any size and can be located in their backyard, on their balcony, in their office, or in their local environment. The purpose of these gardens is to provide food and shelter for native species.

The young attendees created a total of 8 Nature Blocks. We integrated five of these into the thriving ecosystem at The Hideout Café (kindly hosting us for this workshop), augmenting its natural setting, while the remaining three accompanied our junior conservationists home, each with a pot of a native plant, to commence their own Nature Blocks.

What did the workshop include?

The event was aimed at educating and exciting the next generation about local native plants and animals, their habitats, and the challenges they confront. Given the enthusiasm we observed, it was an unequivocal success!

To construct the Nature Blocks, we supplied a variety of materials, including native plants, small planters,  nativepotting mix, mulch and pebbles to establish varied habitats. To ensure hydration for our tiny wildlife visitors, we instructed the children on crafting a simple yet elegant water dish. We also provided child-sized gloves and safety glasses for protection and sanitation.

We planted over 32  native plants from a range of 16 species, including the Weeping Bottlebrush (Melaleuca viminalis), , the Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa), and Koala Bells (Artanema fimbriatum). These plants were all sourced locally and are known to attract a wide range of pollinator species, such as bees, butterflies and birds.

What are other benefits of these workshops?

The event was not solely about creating Nature Blocks. It presented an opportunity for our young attendees to understand biodiversity, animal habitats, and the criticality of safeguarding endangered species. They can now witness the direct impact of their efforts as they observe their Nature Blocks thrive and attract local wildlife over time.

We hold the belief that every individual, irrespective of their age, can significantly contribute to nature conservation. The Nature Blocks Kids Event was a manifestation of this belief, and we anticipate hosting similar events in the future to keep inspiring the young generation.

Reflecting upon it, it was truly a day well spent, collaboratively restoring nature!

What is the impact of nature on children’s development?

Nature plays a crucial role in children’s development in every major aspect — intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically (Kellert, 2005).

Participating in Nature Stewardship activities like Nature Blocks is beneficial for children’s (and everyone’s) minds and bodies:

  • It fosters confidence. The manner in which children engage with nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play.
  • It enhances creativity, imagination, and interaction. While Nature Blocks provides educational guidance and enables children to interact meaningfully with their peers and surroundings.
  • It instills responsibility. Living organisms perish if mistreated or not properly cared for. Entrusting a child with the care of the living parts of their environment helps them learn the consequences of neglecting to water a plant or uprooting a flower.
  • It stimulates the senses. Nature Blocks activate our senses – you can see, hear, smell, and touch a Nature Block.

Nature Blocks also promote the incorporation of plants and insects into children’s learning and development.

Where can I start?

Getting started is straightforward! First, download the CVA Community Hub app, which serves as your gateway to the Nature Blocks community. This is where you can find numerous resources and step by step instructions, connect with like-minded individuals, and monitor your progress.

  1. Search for “CVA Community Hub” in your app store.
  2. Download and install the app.
  3. Create an account.
  4. Now, you’re ready to explore the world of Nature Blocks!

➡️ Download the app right here (Google Play or App Store).

Our supportive partner: Bupa Foundation

CVA has formed a national partnership with the Bupa Foundation to enhance the health and wellbeing of Australians. This partnership aims to foster a deeper connection with nature through practical opportunities.

This collaboration marks a significant advancement in CVA’s ambitious 5-year plan. The plan aims to establish and mobilise a nationwide community of 1 million Nature Stewards. The focus will be on combating climate change and biodiversity loss and mitigating their impacts.

The partnership was recognised as a 2021 Shared Value Award Finalist, in the Project of the year early-stage category.