Connect with Nature

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Research tells us that children and adults are healthier, happier and more creative when they have a connection to the natural environment. A connection to nature can improve your physical and mental health and reduce stress, boost your immune system and increase your energy levels. Best of all though, connecting with nature is a lot of fun!

Camden Council has developed the ‘Connect with Nature’ video series in partnership with Penrith City Council and Hooked on Nature.

‘Connect with Nature’ explores the unique plants and animals of Western Sydney that are found in the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and the Nepean River corridor. You’ll not only learn about our unique natural environment, you’ll also get some great ideas about how to create a habitat garden as a family.

Backyard Safari

Discover the creatures living in your own backyard using tools from around the home, and techniques that are suitable for the whole family.

Nature Safari

Learn some great bushwalking techniques and tricks to help you spot animals from the ground to the trees.

Where can I go on a Nature Safari in the Camden area?

  • Bicentennial Equestrian Park, Camden
  • Kings Bush Reserve/Nepean River Cycleway, Camden
  • Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve, Camden
  • John Peat Reserve, Camden
  • Cut Hill Reserve, Cobbitty
  • Elizabeth Throsby Reserve, Currans Hill
  • Charles Throsby Reserve, Currans Hill
  • South Creek Reserve, Gledswood Hills
  • Gledswood Hills Reserve, Gledswood Hills
  • Harrington Forest, Harrington Park
  • Harrington Park Lake, Harrington Park
  • John Oxley Reserve, Kirkham
  • Mount Annan Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan
  • William Howe Regional Park, Mount Annan
  • George Caley Reserve, Mount Annan
  • Lake Yandel’ora, Mount Annan
  • The Cascades, Mount Annan
  • Gundungurra Reserve (North), Narellan Vale
  • Kolombo Creek, Oran Park
  • Grand Prix Park, Oran Park
  • Springs Lake Reserve, Spring Farm

Residents are reminded to follow the latest social distancing guidelines when participating in a Nature Safari at a local park.

Habitat Garden Part 1

Find out how to build your very own frog jacuzzi and lizard lounge. This video shows you how to incorporate habitat features into your own garden to provide refuge to native animals.

Habitat Garden Part 2

Learn which native plant species are best suited to our local area, and how they can support wildlife in your very own backyard habitat garden.

You can also check out the Camden Native Garden Guide which has been developed to help residents improve the existing biodiversity in their garden, or to design a native garden from scratch.

We’ve created lesson plans and activity guides that you can use to go on a Backyard or Nature Safari or create elements of a habitat garden.

If you have any questions about the following content, please get in touch with our Sustainability Team on 4654 7777 or email sustainability@camden.nsw.gov.au

Go on a Backyard Safari

In this activity you will learn simple techniques using tools from around the home to discover the creatures living in your own backyard.

Backyard Safari (PDF, 7.22 MB)

Go on a Nature Safari

In this activity you will learn some great bushwalking techniques and tricks to help you spot animals from the ground to the trees when out on a nature safari in your local reserve or park.

Nature Safari (PDF, 9.18 MB)

Build a Frog Jacuzzi or Frog Hotel

This activity provides instructions on how to build a frog jacuzzi or frog hotel and encourage these beneficial creatures to your garden.

Frog Hotel instructions (PDF, 3.04 MB)

Explore the Nest Box Trail

A Nest Box Trail has been created at Harrington Forest as part of a restoration project that saw 10 nest boxes that were decorated by local primary school and preschool students, installed within large eucalypt trees. These students have decorated the nest boxes to create a cosy home for our wildlife.

See if you can find all 10 nest boxes while enjoying a bushwalk through Harrington Forest.

Explore the Nest Box Trail at Harrington Forest

Build a Bee Hotel

Do you love food? Well you must love bees!

This activity teaches us about the importance of native bees for our natural environment and the vital role they play as pollinators in food production. This activity contains instructions on how to build a bee hotel as a way to help our native bees.

Build a Bee Hotel instructions (PDF, 4.4MB)

Create a Mini Herb Garden

Now is a great time to get out in your garden and get creative by turning used contained or bottles into a mini herb garden!

In this activity, kids are encouraged to flex their green thumbs and create a mini-herb garden using recycled materials.

Create a Mini Herb Garden instructions (PDF, 6MB)

Go on a Nature Quest

Head outside to your local park or reserve or even your backyard to discover what plants and animals are living there. You’ll be surprised at what you find when you look closely!

Nature Quest contains the following three smaller activities: Bird Bingo, Mini-beast Discovery and Nature Scavenger Hunt.

Everything you need for your Nature Quest (PDF, 7MB)

Creature Features Competition

Thank you to the more than 50 kids who entered our Creature Features competition. The 2 winners, as voted by Mayor of Camden Theresa Fedeli, were Theo and Lucy. Our 9 highly commended entrants were Abigail, Cooper, Shevon, Charlotte, Ayesha, Fatimah, Heath, Amelia and Eva.

WINNER - Theo, 7
The Camden Ice Dragon can breathe out ice from its mouth. The spikes protect it from predators. It lives in the Camden bushlands. It turns the Nepean River into ice so everyone can go ice skating, flying above it with its wings. The Ice Dragon eats ants from the grasslands.
creature 1
WINNER - Lucy, 7
My creature has a horse mane and a unicorn horn. It has bright blue eyes and also a really long cat tail. It has a big rainbow head and small feet.
My creature would be good here because it can fly. It can save people wherever it goes. If people don’t want food they can throw it into its mouth.
creature 2
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Abigail, 6
The Camden creature is blue and green like the water and the trees. His legs bend so he can swim with ducks. People can ride under him on the bike track. He spreads love and happiness to all. Everyone would visit Camden to see him.
creature 3
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Cooper, 7
This creature is the Podypus and they love living near lakes around Camden. Podypus are cousins of the Platypus. Females have light feathers, males have dark. Podypus eat berries, insects and their favourite treats are Jacaranda flowers. Being nocturnal they have big eyes to help them see at night, the antenna pods buzz as they communicate.
creature 4
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Shevon, 9
‘Camden Mystery’
This mysterious creature has a head like a lion, a body of a zebra, cheetah legs, rabbit ears and a unicorn tail.
Camden is famous because of ‘Camden’s Mystery’. It protects Camden from any bad people. The bad people will tremble to their feet before the ‘Camden Mystery’.
creature 5
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Charlotte, 9
Meet the “Aquatic aerodynamic campfire wombat” soon to come home to Camden’s waterways. It lives in a wide tree near a river or creek. The campfire wombat has a diet of fish and a number of nuts. It especially likes carp so it will rid Camden’s waterways of this pest fish. The campfire wombat likes to drink tree sap. It is able to move quickly in the water and on land. A group of campfire wombats is called ‘lump’ and they live in families and never leave their parents. The oldest and most intelligent one will be the leader.
creature 6
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Ayesha, 12
The Tiny Dart
One swipe from its poisoned talons will give you a cut which smells for days. It has a sharp beak to hunt, where it injects poison from the beak which makes the victim sleepy.
It eats plants and small animals. If it can it will devour the nectar if a hibiscus.
creature 7
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Fatimah, 11
My creature is called a spiky-devil-roo. These spiky-devil-roos have a Tasmanian devil’s head with a Kangaroo body and spikes running down its back like an Echidna. These creatures will be hopping all over Camden chasing the feral animals away.
The spiky-devil-roo cannot hop backwards and its spikes are like swords.
creature 8
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Heath, 7
I have named my creature Monophingon.
The features of the Monophingon are its giant platypus beak. It also has big purple spikes on the sides of its body and is covered in green fish scales.
The Monophingon lives in the deep parts of the muddy river in Camden.
creature 9
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Amelia, 7
My creature has a yellow crest and a big white body and it can fly among the cockatoos over Camden.
creature 10
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Eva, 7
My creature has webbed feet and enjoys swimming in Harrington Park Lake with the ducks and swans. It has wings and spends most of its time in the trees. It has spikes on top to protect it from predators and it eats fish from the lake.
creature 11