Learn about nature

Rustem Upton will lead the Nature Stewards program. (supplied)

Ocean Grove’s Rustem Upton will lead a program, Nature Stewards, aimed at locals with an interest in the environment and great outdoors.

Residents are encouraged to apply for Greater Geelong Council’s inaugural Nature Stewards program, which will teach 20 participants about the natural environment, through topics such as geology, soils, climate, fungi, plants, water, animals and conservation land management.

Funded by the council and run by Outdoors Victoria, the program will educate people with an interest in the environment and encourage them to become volunteers and advocates.

The 10-week course begins on May 2 and runs until July 11, with weekly three-hour classes to be held at Leopold Community Hub.

Several field trips to significant properties and locations are also on the itinerary.

Expert local facilitator, Rustem Upton, will lead the program, with support from specialist guest presenters and volunteer group showcases.

The program is open to anyone over the age of 18, however preference will be given to those who live in Greater Geelong.

It is best suited to people with little or no formal environmental education, who are either involved with local groups or want to explore environmental volunteering opportunities.

Geelong will be the first Victorian regional municipality to offer the program.

The council will also provide an outline of environmental volunteering opportunities at the Geelong Nature Forum.

The forum is being held at the National Wool Museum on Saturday, March 28.

To apply for Nature Stewards, visit: outdoorsvictoria.org.au/nature-stewards.

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