Canberran’s celebrated World Wetlands Day today with a guided walk through Jerrabomberra Wetlands as part of Landcare ACT’s Wellbeing through Nature program.
Karissa Preuss, Landcare ACT CEO, said this event provided an opportunity for participants to pull on their gumboots and explore the wetlands’ diverse plant and animal life while experiencing the healing power of nature.
“Wetlands are an important part of our natural environment and in the ACT many wetlands are cared for by local Landcare groups. Today, to celebrate World Wetlands Day, 14 people had the opportunity to experience the Jerrabomberra Wetlands and the many benefits that come from connecting with local natural places,” said Ms Preuss.
“The event is part of our Wellbeing through Nature program, which aims to improve wellbeing amongst Canberrans through the provision of nature-based experiences. We have been hearing from Landcarers about the positive impact of engaging with nature for mental health and wellbeing, and this program builds on existing Landcare activities.”
Sally Holliday, Landcare Wellbeing Coordinator, encouraged participants to pause, take in their surroundings and find moments of quiet contemplation amongst the reeds.
“It was a rewarding experience to share this first wellbeing event for the year with so many enthusiastic Canberrans. The group tapped into the healing power of nature-connection through the senses; the smell of rain in the air, spotting birds from the hides and listening to the rhythmic thrum of frog song,” said Ms Holliday.
“We were fortunate to have Grant Battersby, Coordinator of Friends of Jerra Wetlands, a local Landcare group, along with Andrew O’Meara from the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, guide us through this rich and dynamic wetlands located in the heart of Canberra.”
“After the walk, participants stayed on for coffee and a chat. The program is more than just being outdoors. Personal reflection is part of the experience, but it’s also about acknowledging our social nature. Meeting new people and making connections with others can be healing too.”
More Wellbeing through Nature events are planned for the year and will include a range of nature-based activities such as guided walks, conservation activities and therapeutic horticulture.
“We have designed the Landcare Wellbeing program in collaboration with Wellways and look forward to continuing to work with them and numerous other health, community and environmental organisations across Canberra,” said Ms Preuss.
This program is for all Canberrans with specialised activities for diverse ages and backgrounds. For more information about the program, including upcoming activities and dates, see the link below.
The program is supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants.