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Published October 14th 2021
New and shiny isn't always better
In addition to the enchanting fairy trails, Kumbartcho Sanctuary and Nursery is home to a locally beloved Environment Centre. Open to both schools and the general public, this venue offers an abundance of hands-on learning activities, displays and educational resources.
Visitors to Kumbartcho Environment Centre will be rather disappointed if they expect to see "all the bells and whistles" of the newer council environment centres. This venue is clearly lacking technological upgrades and modern amenities. Regardless, my children simply adored their recent visit. The receptive staff, homely atmosphere and engagement with learning cannot be faulted.
Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by a member of staff. She pointed out the different sections of the centre and directed the children to age-appropriate displays and activities. As I looked around the centre, it was pleasing to see the staff actively conversing with visitors and providing assistance as necessary.
The most striking display is a large tree "growing" indoors. Children can sit beneath the canopy to read a book or admire the adjacent native fish display. Other displays included a light-up nocturnal room, collections of insects, reference library and environmental video.
Native fish display
Light-up nocturnal display
The current range of interactive learning activities allowed children of all ages and abilities to participate. These included a fishing game, recycling versus rubbish small world play and identifying suitable/unsuitable food and drink sources for koalas.
An adjoining room offered numerous educational resources for children to enjoy, including puzzles, books and puppets. My three year old excitedly raced to select puzzles and set herself up at one of the little tables. We spent a considerable amount of time in this room, leaving only when a bathroom break was required (a separate toilet block is located toward the rear of the centre).