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Tyto Wetlands Information Centre

Tyto Wetlands Information Centre

Name of organisation: Hinchinbrook Shire Council

Funding support: Fully funded by Hinchinbrook Shire Council

Number of staff: 1 full time, 2 part time and 47 volunteers

Number of visitors per year: Varies depending on year. 22 000 to 25 000

Overall aims of the centre

Primarily a visitor information centre promoting the general area but specifically Tyto Wetlands

Description of the centre

Information centre, connected to precinct via elevated walkway over man made lagoons. The precinct contains, bird observation tower, Restaurant, Conference Centre, Library and Art Gallery. The original Tyto Wetlands are 120 hectares with walking tracks and bird hides

Main CEPA work areas

We provide guided tours for large groups of school children, community interest groups and tour groups. Wetlands is primarily self guided. We provide brochures and worksheets for school activities

Top three successes

Tyto Open Weekend: We provide 4 battery operated golf buggies and guides and take less mobile and elderly members of the community around the wetlands. The wetlands are over 4km of walking tracks so a considerable number of our local community will never be able to visit otherwise

Annual Tree Planting Day: To coincide with the open weekend we organise a tree planting morning which is very well attended particularly by young people in the community. When people plant a tree they are given a certificate of “ownership” and are invited to come back and visit “their tree”

Bird lists: In our information centre we have a white board where visitors can put sightings of any birds or wildlife they see in our area. This information is used to populate our bird lists and guides. Any new or unusual sightings are verified with local bird “experts” before they are included

Top three challenges

Interpretation techniques

Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures

Participation

Working with disabled people; Engaging hard-to-reach groups; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community;

Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials

General

Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Health and safety;Project planning.

Rae Domin, council@hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au, 07 4776 4792, fax: 07 4776 3039

Website address: www.tyto.com.au

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