Whitehorse City Council

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Schools Education Program

Kids at Blackburn Lake SanctuaryThe Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Education Program is a free visitor service offered by the Council, the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee and the Friends of the Lake. It provides environmental and sustainability education programs for local schools and community organisations.  

The program aims to develop among visitors:

  • Understanding of, and sympathy for, the value of bushland in suburban areas, specifically Blackburn Lake Sanctuary
  • Concern to maintain such areas as sustainable environments
  • Opportunities for various age groups to experience and learn of the pleasures and challenges of a bushland area and to appreciate its importance to the community

Programs are run by Council’s Education Program Officer together with a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers. 

The Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee believes that having a reasonably intact bushland ecosystem in a suburban area can encourage understanding and appreciation of the bush in those members of the community who choose to live in suburban Melbourne. Positive attitudes can best be developed by using local volunteers who show, by example, their love of the area. 

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary provides opportunities for practical, hands-on experiences of the bush through: Dragonfly

  • Weeding
  • Planting
  • Learning about indigenous plants
  • Water sampling
  • Observing birds, animals and insects
  • Learning about the culture of indigenous Australians 

It also provides opportunity for creative expression through painting, photography, writing, storytelling and other media. It offers the possibility of real-life teaching, learning and understanding, not virtual experiences. 

Education Sessions
During education programs, visiting groups are welcomed with an introduction to the sanctuary. Most visits combine a guided walk with a presentation in the Visitor Centre. This may be combined with environmental games or hands-on activities. Groups are encouraged to WALK, LOOK and LISTEN as they make their way around the lake. Additional information and worksheets can be provided for most programs on request. 

Visits take between 1–3 hours to complete, depending on the activities undertaken. To protect the sanctuary's sensitive environment, we ask that group numbers be limited. Large parties will be divided into smaller groups in order to protect the Sanctuary and offer a quality experience.  

We are happy to tailor programs for particular curriculum requirements and to assist schools with resource material for assignments. Programs can be designed for primary, secondary, tertiary and adult groups. 

For more information, download pdf icon  Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Education Program.pdf (848.34kB)

Bookings are essential and must be made at least 3-4 weeks before the event. For bookings or further information, please contact Council’s Education Program Officer on 9262 6211 or 0458 968 804. 

Other Environmental and Sustainability Education opportunities in Whitehorse 

Teacher Environment Network (TEN)
The TEN provides an opportunity for teachers to come together to discuss issues around environmental education and implementing sustainability initiatives within the school. It also provides professional development opportunities through guest speakers, workshops and school tours. Regular email updates provide members with information about professional development opportunities, grant programs and other information. 

Contact: Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Education Program Officer
Phone: 9262 6211
Email: blsevents@whitehorse.vic.gov.au

ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Framework
Council is supporting a number of local schools to participate in the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Framework.  

Teacher Professional Development
We can design a professional session based around the AuSSI Vic Biodiversity and/or water modules to meet your needs. This could take place at the sanctuary or at your school. For more information, visit Council's Sustainable Schools page.