Towamba cemetery event kicks off citizen science program

Towamba cemetery event kicks off citizen science program

Bega Valley Shire Council and Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness are pleased to announce the Life in our Cemeteries event at the Towamba cemetery will be held at 11am on Saturday 23 October.

“We were all set to explore the Towamba cemetery’s natural environment in August and then COVID restrictions hit again,” Shire Mayor, Cr Russell Fitzpatrick said.

“This is the first joint citizen science event to be held following the recently signed MOU by both organisations and the beginning of a three-year program to visit every cemetery in the shire and document the plants, insects and animals that live in and around them.”

Chairperson of Atlas of Life, Libby Hepburn said there was a lot of local interest in this event back in August and now that we’re well into spring, she expects even more attention.

“The awareness of and involvement in citizen science projects across the shire is growing; people are keen to use their talents and intel to help us learn more about our natural environment,” Ms Hepburn said.

“Spring and the gradual release from COVID restrictions will see more people bushwalking or strolling along the beach, enjoying our natural environment and noticing changes in the nature around them.

“These types of citizen science projects help people from all walks of life connect with nature and each other, leading to enhanced wellbeing.”

At the Towamba cemetery event, Atlas of Life members will photograph and document plants, insects and animals on the iNaturalist app so the identity of each can be confirmed.

“The Landcare and Conservation Management Network will talk about native land management, botanical expert, Jackie Miles will talk about the local eco-system and historian and Fiona Firth will provide insight into the history of the cemetery,” Ms Hepburn said.

“Potaroo Palace will have a presentation and display and there will be a free sausage sizzle.”

Atlas of Life assures the community that full care and respect for the cemetery and those interred will be maintained during this event.

“We hope we can bring to life another aspect of the cemetery and demonstrate the important role plants, insects and animals play in the local ecosystem,” Ms Hepburn said.

Register online to attend this event:

This event, part of the Great Southern Bioblitz (22-25 October 2021), is partly funded by the Bushfire Community Resilience and Recovery Fund.

The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness is a not-for-profit organisation and an ongoing citizen-science project.

Photos: Pambula primary students pond-dip for water creatures at the Panboola Bioblitz organised by the Atlas of Life

Source: Bega Valley Shire Council