Small turtles with BIG message

MidCoast Council

3,000 turtle weavings made by students from across the MidCoast will form a special art installation along the Manning River, as part of the global initiative ‘withNature2020’.

The ‘withnature2020 initiative has inspired groups from around the world to create large scale images of endangered flora and fauna from their part of the world. Footage of installations from around the world will be released on 22 May, in conjunction with the International Day of Biological Diversity.

MidCoast Council, together with artist Shona Wilson, Manning Regional Art Gallery, Aussie Ark and the Manning River Turtle Conservation Group coordinated the art project along with local teachers and students, to bring awareness to the endangered Manning River Helmeted Turtle.

The only place in the world that the Manning River Helmeted Turtle exists is in the middle and upper reaches of the Manning River.

This project is part of ‘withNature2020’, a global initiative that actively aims to raise awareness of the extinction crisis and engage the public in the conservation and care of biodiversity. Sadly, like much of the world, the MidCoast region is experiencing a decline in its biodiversity due to the impacts of land clearing, habitat fragmentation, invasive species and climate change. Unprecedented bushfires and flooding events in the last two years have also taken a toll.

“We are so excited about the massive response to this project. Big and small hands from 35 schools and organisations have woven the turtles that will form the art installation on the banks of the river to actively raise awareness of the extinction crisis” explained Ali Haigh, MidCoast Council’s Public Programs and Education Engagement Officer.

“These art works might be small, but together they send a big message about the need to protect the diversity in our local ecosystem.”

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