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How good was the Easter citizen science camp?

With the added attraction of senior botanist and East Gippsland specialist David Cameron, we had the biggest citizen science camp ever! Over 50 people attended for guided walks, talks & citizen science efforts and surveying. A new layer of people have been recharged and are ready to fight for the forests of East Gippsland!

Thanks so much to everyone who came and got involved. We hold citizen science and skillshare camps 3-4 a times a year - subscribe to our email list to get updates about the next camp!


Volunteers inside the giant 'Cathedral Tree' in the Errinundra. Photo credit: Trudy Photography

On Friday night folks learned about native forest logging in East Gippsland from GECO campaigner Tuffy Morwitzer. Afterwards we heard from GECO field ecologist, Rena Gabarov, about the decline in Greater Gliders in East Gippsland, and the importance of the Errinundra Plateau as a refuge for these species.


Rena Gabarov pictured above. 


Folks were nourished throughout camp by the affable Greg from the GECO kitchen, and treated to his famous deed fried tofu!


Greg pictured above.

On Saturday a big contingent of folks went on David Cameron's 3 Gems tour, where they learnt about the local ecology, plant species, and that Errinundra Plateau is one of the wettest places in Victoria.


Photo by Mat Tomkins


On Saturday night folks were delivered a hot meal up on the Errinundra Plateau before going spotlighting for Greater Gliders.



Photo credit Trudy Photography


Spotlighting for Greater Gliders can trigger specific forest protections depending how many you find - 11 triggers a 100ha protection area, and right now because of the court case by Environment East Gippsland and Kinglake Friends of the Forest, all areas in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland with a Greater Glider have been temporarily protected.


Photo credit Mat Tomkins


On Sunday David Cameron led a rainforest recovery tour in Martin's Creek - one of the biggest previous strands of warm temperate rainforest in Australia. We learnt from David to assess the presence of new eucalyptus trees emerging to be able to assess rainforest recovery, amongst other important observations. 


Photo credit Mat Tomkins


At the same time GECO took a group of people to witness and discuss the impacts of VicForests' post-bushfire logging on Mt Jersey. Then the group headed to the giant 14m Cathedral Tree, found by GECO volunteers in an area slated for logging.


Photo credit Trudy Photography

The Cathedral Tree. Photo credit Trudy Photography


And lastly on Sunday night we had the experimental film screening of eco-films from the Melbourne based Artist Film Workshop, and learnt about forest succession in East Gippsland with David Cameron.  


While the Non-Violent Direct Action training was cancelled on Monday due to weather, many folks stuck around to support the blockade up at Swifts Creek, initiated on Tuesday night by local community group Friends of Bats and Habitat Gippsland. Logging was halted for 2 days in precious unburnt forest where old growth, rainforest, and threatened and endangered species have all been found. The tree sitter Eva is now safe and sound at home. Read more on this via Forest Conservation Victoria




One thing was clear from this Easter Camp, we must protect the Errinundra Plateau from logging so it remains a critical refuge during increasing climate crises. 2022 being a state election year, we need to make this a issue decision makers cannot ignore. To be a part of this defence effort, get in touch with us by sending us an email - [email protected]



We made this modest 4 question survey to get participants feedback on the Easter camp. If this is you and have a moment, we'd love to hear what you think to make our next camp even better. Go here. 

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