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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Fri 23 Jun 2006

Reaching heartlanders on World Environment Day - EnviroFest 2006

Category : events

As part of efforts to bring nature awareness to heartlanders, the Raffles Museum Toddycats responded to an ideal opportunity presented by EarthLink NTU & SMU Verts and setup an exhibition booth for EnviroFest on Sunday 4th June 2006 at Toa Payoh HDB Hub. Held in conjunction with World Environment Day, 'the one day carnival on sustainability aims to bring environmental issues closer to the heartlanders in a creative and refreshing way.'

Toddycats Wong Yueat Tin, Ng Kai Scene and Lim Chen Kee met me to work out a plan. We decided on a very simple booth with just specimens and a map quiz about the location of some spectacular wildlife sightings in Singapore. The Toddycats went stationery shopping and sent a wish list to curator Kelvin Lim to dig up the critical specimens. Photos were acquired from Lim Eng Lock, Norman Lim, Ria Tan and Chim Chee Kong, and Chee Kong drew cartoons for the quiz.

Several Toddycats responded to Yueat Tin's call for guides and Chen Kee, Chien Fang, Wei Song, Kai Scene, Anand and Zijian spent that day exciting heartlanders both young and old with interesting Singapore stories! The baby dugong in particular excited great interest and many of the older visitors ("uncles and aunties") also shared their stories and memories of horseshoe crabs and pangolins with the guides. The simple map quiz did work and it was an engaging way to interact with children. In a repeat of Museum Fest 2002 (Suntec City), the public's interest had the guides speaking non-stop until they were hoarse!

Groups present at the Giving Tree @ Tampines last year were there too - Blue Water Volunteers, Green Volunteer Network, ACRES, Eco - 4 the World, Vegetarian Society of Singapore (with their huge projection screen that we used last year) and Nature Society of Singapore. This time Waterways Watch Society and NParks were also working the crowd, along with NJC's Green Link, Sing Poly's Environmental Club, VJC's EarthWatch and Raffles Design Institute.

Blue Water Volunteers

National Parks Board
See "EnviroFest 2006." By Yen Kheng. For the Future of Our Forest, 15 Jun 2006.

As usual, some networking and synergy went on, and I got NPArks staff and volunters to try out Catholic High's vegetarian shark fin soup substitute (spuervised by one of our NUS biology alummi, now a teacher there. Amidst the chatter, a seminar on the feasibility of plastics recycling for trash collected at the International Coastal Cleanups was arranged on the post and will be taking place next week!

So a heartfelt thanks goes out to the organisers, NTU Earthlink & SMU Verts, for providing nature groups with the opportunity to connect to the public at Envirofest2006 - the Raffles Museum Toddycats found it so fulfilling talking about nature in Singapore, there were still there when everyone had left!

Photos by N. Sivasothi and Wong Yueat Tin. More photos on Flickr - Album 1 (Ng Kai Scene & Wong Yueat Tin)- Album 2 (N. Sivasothi).

Posted at 3:15AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news