BUSH KINDY OVERVIEW

ABOUT THE SITE

Our Bush Kindy site is at Bushland Park Lobethal. Bushland Park is located 1.5km outside the Lobethal township on Gumeracha Rd.

Bushland Park is one of the largest areas of remnant bushland in the upper catchment zone of the Onkaparinga Valley, and as such it provides a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna.

During the 19th and early 20th century, before reticulated water was available to the towns in the Onkaparinga Valley, two reservoirs on the 118 hectare property provided the water supply to Lobethal and its major industry the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill.

In 1982 it was declared surplus to E & WS requirements and offered to the then Onkaparinga Council on the condition a heritage agreement was placed on most of the land, ensuring it remained in its natural state.

Our program supports our kindy community to build ongoing, deep and sustainable relationships with the park.

We delight in discovering the unique flora and fauna, exploring the biodiversity of ecosystems and learning about the cultural heritage of the area and its significance to the Peramangk people.

We have become involved in the current preservation and conservation projects that will ensure the park’s viability and accessibility for future generations.

NATURE CONNECT BELIEF STATEMENT

The bush for us is a space to be,

a space to learn,

a classroom which has no walls,

a roof simply made of tree canopies and sky.

It has endless possibilities to the imagination.

It nurtures reciprocal relationships with each other and ones self.

It promotes a culture of guardianship for the future of our environment.

It helps us learn about our place in the world and how significant our impact can be.

Although we are small and the world is huge, we can all make a big impact and a positive

difference to our world today and in the future.

HOW BUSH KINDY WORKS

The format of our Bush Kindy program is reflected upon and tailored to meet the needs of each year’s cohort of families.

Currently the program runs across Terms 2 & 3 and each group attends once per fortnight.

Children learn the importance of protecting the delicate ecosystems of the park and what respecting the heritage listed areas of the park looks like. They develop a knowledge of the unique flora and fauna of the park, how this changes over the seasons, and what we need to do to nurture and preserve it. They have also been able to witness first-hand over the past several years, the amazing regeneration of the park after its decimation in the 2019 Cudlee Creek bushfires.

Our children thrive on being able to share their knowledge with their families, and we always seek to involve experts and stakeholders of the park to build our capacity to connect with the park, enrich our program and build connections with the wider community.

Our Bush Kindy program has been a true journey for us, and has been developed based on research-backed practice as well as extensive reflective practice.