The Nature Education Centre

April 20, 2020 | Posted in: Education, Resources

The Nature Education Centre

by Steve Reynolds

My wife Noeleen and I recently returned to the Nature Education Centre at Urrbrae at Netherby to deliver several copies of the book “An Octopus’s Garden”.  This book is “An early childhood marine education resource guide for teaching young children 3-8 years old”.

This book is associated with our “Jewels of the Sea” resource kits which are located at the Nature Education Centre.

Noeleen and I had last visited the centre when it was officially opened in 2011 (as reported in our June 2011 newsletter). The Nature Education Centre (NEC) had just re-located from Norwood to Urrbrae Agricultural High School. Noeleen & I were asked to attend the official opening of the new centre on MLSSA’s behalf on 20th February 2011.

As reported in our June 2011 newsletter, the NEC is an LLL&TL (Lending Library for Lizards & the Likes). To quote the 2011 Home Page at http://www.nature.sa.edu.au/ , “The Nature Education Centre sells and lends out natural history specimens and kits to its members so that children are encouraged to study animals and their habitats by coming into direct contact with them.

“The Centre, which is run as a non-profit organisation, is administered by a Committee drawn from education and animal management fields and was set up as a project by the South Australian Science Teacher’s Association.”

MLSSA provided the NEC with 7 “Jewels of the Sea” (JOTS) kits for use by school students (comprising 3 for Lower Primary, 3 for Middle Secondary and 1 of marine puppets. Via a combination of phone calls and my recent visit, I found that our JOTS kits are still being used, although they may have now been reduced down to just two kits. Details can be found at https://www.nature.sa.edu.au/product/jewels-of-the-sea/ and https://www.nature.sa.edu.au/product/jewels-of-sea-puppets/ .

The centre’s new manager allowed Noeleen and I to take a quick tour of the facilities for the first time in nine years. As in 2011, Noeleen and I enjoyed viewing the numerous creatures housed at the centre. We saw live birds, mice, turtles, fish, yabbies, snakes, lizards, hermit crabs, frogs, insects, etc.. There were also some stuffed animals & birds to see there.

The Nature Education Centre when it was officially opened in 2011

The centre’s address is 505 Fullarton Rd, Netherby SA 5062. Their contact number is (08) 8357 3413. Their email address is info.Nature908@schools.sa.edu.au . The centre is open 6 days per week, Monday to Saturday, 1.30 to 5.30pm.

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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