What they involve...
Eco-catchment tours involve transporting both community participants and school students on a visual and educational journey, providing the hosts and participants with a unique co-learning and capacity building opportunity throughout the diverse Coastal Dry Tropics Townsville environment.
Tours enable spatially separate areas to be connected, with eco-tour participants viewing and experiencing the environment from a variety of perspectives and lenses. The catchment tours involve mostly local people engaged in tours of their local environment providing an opportunity for previously ‘hidden’ environments to be revealed.
Young students involved in eco-catchment tours are able to connect class based learning with an outdoor practical and “real-life” application fostering an individual and shared appreciation and awareness of our local environment. Through a unique and successful curriculum approach to environmental and sustainable community education and involvement, over 2000 students in the 2004 school year were involved in intra city tourism opportunities with local wetlands, waterways, coastal scapes and catchments explored.
The eco-catchment tours underpin the community framework for fostering city-wide catchment education and involvement. Simply showing the environment has facilitated and built capacity for enhanced community participation in Creekwatch volunteering activities including water quality monitoring, tree planting and fish habitat assessment. The tours have generated an interest, awareness and appreciation for the local environment which is resulting in more volunteers and more Creekwatch groups.
As part of the city-wide eco-catchment tours, partnerships with other eco-tourism ventures have been fostered and strengthened. Tours involve integration with Reef HQ, Ross Dam (NQ Water) and Conservation Volunteers Australia.