The Wildbark Learning Centre at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is now open for business.
On Friday 18 November, representatives from the ACT Government, the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust and ANU gathered to launch Wildbark, Canberra's newest nature-based visitors' centre.
In a promotional video by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Alison Russell-French, President of the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, described Wildbark as "a unique learning and visitors' centre".
Wildbark Learning Centre is a joint effort of the ACT Government, the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, Odonata Foundation and ANU, built as a "gateway" to the Mulligans Flat woodlands and ecological restoration.
"The opening of this wonderful learning centre means the community can engage with the research that underpins Mulligans Flat Sanctuary and better understand the conservation efforts that are happening right on their doorstep," Professor Saul Cunnigham, Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, said.
Speaking on behalf of our Vice-Chancellor, Saul discussed the significance of Wildbark's launch for ANU.
"It is our hope that this centre will become a global leader, showcasing what can be achieved when you bring a community of researchers, students, locals and visitors together to enjoy, understand and protect their environment," Saul said.
"Educating people is probably the most important thing we can do to help the world on the path to sustainability."
With Wildbark now officially open for business, Saul also mentioned how the Fenner School is looking forward to hosting some of their undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Mulligans Flat, providing students with a more 'hands on' approach to their learning.
"Today marks a new chapter in our University's commitment to conversation research and action," Saul said.
Belinda Wilson, PhD candidate at the Fenner School, explained the vital importance of conservation research in our current climate.
"When you visit Mulligans Flat, you're really visiting an outdoor laboratory that has delivered world leading science to restore ecosystems and bring back species that we've lost," Belinda said.
"After you venture along the boardwalk deeper into the box gum grassy woodlands, you might find Eastern Bettongs, New Holland Mice, Bush Stone-curlews and even Eastern quolls, all reintroduced to the Sanctuary as part of our woodland experiment."
For more information about Wildbark, please visit https://www.wildbark.org/.
Story by Pamela Hutchinson