The GAP children enjoyed creating their own lanterns this year, out of recycled materials and sticks from the park. We added a tea light candle and some ribbon, and took them out in the park to test them out.
At the GAP, we absolutely love the arboretum and our favourite guide, Heather.
This year we decided to stay a whole day there, so we had six glorious hours amongst the trees, in the sunshine and fresh air. We had perfect weather for our excursion too.
We got to play on the acorn playground, have a tour with Heather, hear a garden fairy story, have morning tea on the deck with sweeping views of green hills below, imagine ourselves as tiny folk in the bonsai garden, smell apple pie plants in the sensory garden, have lunch in the dappled shade amongst beautiful flowers and aromatic plants, see birds’ nests, go for long walks, relax on picnic blankets under trees in the STEP gardens watching fluffy clouds drift slowly by, see a frog pond, climb a hill, learn about cuckoos and magpies and butterbum birds.
We love the Arboretum so much, we have been a couple of times this year. We even helped launch their new network of trails and discovered there is more to the Arboretum than the fabulous acorn playground.
We scrambled over big boulders and up the sides of steep hills, adventured into forests we hadn’t seen before, played atop a hill in a forest, completed an exciting scavenger hunt in a formal garden, and visited the building that looks like the Sydney Opera House.
On another visit, we went again with our favourite education officer, Heather, to help let some helicopter seeds fly in the wind, watch birds feeding their young in a nest, see a big nest, explore the bonsai garden (and imagine we were tiny fairies living in those tiny forest scenes), and hear a lovely story.
We really appreciate our volunteers at Spielwelt. Our parents (and of course the children) are what make our community so wonderful.
While the organisation certainly benefits from volunteers, it would seem that the volunteers benefit themselves. For example: Each term, a parent volunteers to wash the hand towels for us. (We save trees and give the children a more home-like experience by not using paper towels.) Recently our hand towel washing volunteer posted a nice comment on her Facebook page, saying ” Aaaaah… the beauty of washing GAP’s towels. It’s like having a rainbow on the line.”
If you’d like to have a rainbow on your line, or any other feel-good experience by volunteering, let us know. We’d be happy to help you!
We absolutely adore the new nature playground that has been installed in Haig Park as part of the Haig Park Experiments. We really hope it is allowed to stay.
Please urge the ACT government to let this amazing nature playground stay here in Haig Park. It’s awesome. And ask them to build more of these all over Canberra! Jump onto the Have Your Say website, and look for Haig Park Experiments, or click here and add your feedback to Map 2. Or email CityRenewals@act.gov.au
Story Night was another lovely event at Spielwelt this year. Children and their families enjoyed sharing delicious food for dinner, while chatting and playing in the playground.
We then moved indoors for the main attraction: the songs and stories.
Paul got us all singing “Meine Haende sind verschwunden”, with the actions of course, and accompanied us with his ukelele.
Then Tatjana tooks us all on a bear hunt with all the funny noises and actions; and Johanna had us giggling at a story about slippers.
To finish the evening, Torsten and Otmar entertained us all with some hilarious puppets who had the children rolling in the aisles with laughter.
Everyone pitched in to help clean up after the event, and all agreed we had enjoyed a lovely evening.
This was another keen-to-be-green event: No single-use items were used, and the whole event fed and entertained a lot of families and created less than a shopping bag of rubbish to landfill. Thanks, everyone!
Some of the children at the GAP joined their teacher Lisa-Marie starring in an ActSmart video to share one of our tips about being green.
By replacing our old bar heaters for more efficient reverse cycle heaters, we have reduced our carbon footprint and now save ourselves over $1000 a year. As our young GAP friends in the video will tell you, that’s a fair chomp!
We have posted the ActSmart video on our Facebook page for your enjoyment.
Some say the Turner Scout Hall is a power house of energy and sunshine! That’s all the more true since our solar panels went on today.
The children at the GAP sang a traditional German children’s song about busy tradespeople (Wer will fleissige Handwerker sehen? (sing along if you wish)) while the installers Carn and Ambrose were hard at work on the roof installing the panels and Rhys was wiring up the inverter.
When the workers were finished, the children came outside to admire the panels and talk about what they were for and why we are “keen to be green”.
Thanks to Mark and the team from Captain Kilowatt who organised it all for us, and Eshan at ActSmart who helped us with our feasibility study and picking the right components.
We are very grateful to the ACT government: Our contribution of $5,000 was matched by the ActSmart program, and we are now the proud users of a 6.48kW solar system with Jinko panels and a Fronius inverter.
Based on current electricity consumption, and using our new SmartMeter, our investment will pay for itself within 3.5 years.