Nine reasons to love the Children’s Forest
14 June 2021
The Children’s Forest is a much-loved part of Whiteman Park and definitely not to be missed on your next trip to the Park! In fact, it’s well worth a visit in its own right. There are many things that make the Children’s Forest special, but here’s our list of the top nine reasons why we love it.
It’s all about kids. The Children’s Forest was specifically created to provide a place for children to feel connected with nature. The idea behind it came from a group of new parents at the Men of the Trees (now Trillion Trees) many years ago. They wanted to create a place that would give their children a connection to the earth. So, the Children’s Forest is very child-centred and that’s the first reason to love it!
Revegetation in action. That’s right, the Children’s Forest wasn’t always here. It is a revegetation project that was planted in stages. The first plants were put in the ground in 2001. New stages were added over the years with the final Stage 18 being planted in 2018. The Children’s Forest shows what can happen when a group of people get together and nurture nature.
Wonderful wildlife. Birds aren’t the only wildlife you could see in the Children’s Forest. You might be lucky enough to see a quenda scuttling through the shrubbery. Keep your eyes open for insects too. The Children’s Forest is home to many, including native stingless bees, stunning native flies, different types ants and some beautiful beetles. There are also reptiles, including snakes, and although they tend to stay out of people’s way, we recommend you wear closed-in shoes and watch your step.
Intertwining paths. The Children’s Forest is crossed and criss-crossed with a network of intertwining paths. With so many choices, it is possible to visit and re-visit the Children’s Forest and do a different walk every time. Enjoy meandering along whichever path takes your fancy or chart a course on the Forest map and take a determined stroll!
Art and surprises. A giant echidna, an eagle’s nest, little fairy doors … who knows what else you will see in the Children’s Forest! We all love the bush but mixing it up with a few pieces of art and some interesting sculptures adds a new level of fun and excitement. The artwork in the Children’s Forest is there to inspire you and to make you smile. Enjoy!
Beautiful birds. With lots of shrubs and trees providing good habitat, the Children’s Forest is full of birds. You might see fairy wrens, magpies, butcherbirds and robins, to name a few. Remember to listen out for birds as well as looking for them. Often you will hear more birds than you will see.
Spot your tile. If you were on the dedicated members of the Children’s Forest, you should look for the tile that was created just for you. There are three tile huts to search in, located outside Stage 1, just inside the gate on the border of Stages 2 and 3, plus a third outside Stage 6. But you don’t have to have been a member to search amongst these tiles, and that’s the very best thing of all. Can you spot a lizard? A pink flower? Or a turtle? Pick something out of the blue – an animal, a colour or an object – and see if you can find something to match!
Seasonal wildflowers. In Spring, the Children’s Forest blooms. From delicate pink fairy orchids to the bright yellow baubles of the wattles and the stunning spikes of grass trees, many of the plants in the Children’s Forest burst into stunning colours. While you can find some hints of colour year-round, a visit during Spring is sure to impress!
Activity sheets galore. We have created a bundle of activity sheets full of fun things to do in the Children’s Forest. The activity sheets vary in complexity and are suitable for children of various ages. They provide a ready-made guide to your kids’ exploration of the bushland. You can download the activity sheets from the website or pick up copies from the Visitor Information Centre in the Village.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on down to the Children’s Forest and go exploring!