Next month was to have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the annual ANGAIR Wildflower and Art Weekend, originally called the Nature Show. Unfortunately, for the first time in those 50 years, the scheduled show has been cancelled.
The decision was forced by the worsening of the COVID-19 situation in Victoria. Even if the lockdown of Greater Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire finished after six weeks there would be little time to organise the show, a task that normally takes three months of hard work by dozens of willing volunteers. In addition, the continued restriction laid down by the Surf Coast Shire of no more than 10 people gathering in the Anglesea Community Precinct buildings would severely curtail visitor numbers.
However, while the traditional show won’t happen, a team headed by committee member Bill Clarke is exploring the concept of a ‘digital Nature Show’, using Zoom, webinar and social media technologies as well as our existing digital resources of the Digital Asset Management program and the ANGAIR website to create an alternative memorable experience.
The team is looking at innovative ways to fulfil the show’s primary function of introducing people to the natural wonders of the Surf Coast: the diversity and spectacular nature of the local flora and fauna, local conservation and environmental knowledge, ANGAIR’s history of caring for the environment and the delight that can be gained on selected local walks with the aid of self-guided walks information.
While the idea of the Digital Nature Show is still being developed, the indigenous plant sales that have been part of the traditional show for many years will go ahead—online. The sales will be similar to the online sale held at Easter.
Although there were no regular propagation sessions until recently, some propagators worked from home to bolster the unit’s number of the usual favourites, such as Correas, Button Everlastings, Brunonia and Velvet Daisy Bush. Some new species including several smaller species of Lomandra have been added.
A catalogue of available plants and an order form will be emailed to all members in late August. The catalogue will indicate plant availability to guide members’ decision about the numbers to order. The sale will run throughout September unless stock runs out.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.