Scout Environmental Education and Community Centre in 39 hectares of freehold land owned by Scouts Queensland Inc. It has a Visitor Centre containing environmental and heritage displays and other resources;
There is a small but well-equipped Bunkhouse, a Campground and Ablutions Block, Campfire Circle and outdoor Chapel, Training Shelter and a Biolab for the storage of field equipment. There is a currently disused Warden’s Cottage on site, together with facilities for Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, both of which have fallen into disrepair.
In the sub-tropical “Redlands” of South East Queensland, one hour’s drive south of Queensland’s Capital City Brisbane, Eprapah is serviced by trains with bus links and is a short travel time to the Gold Coast Tourism area and its beautiful hinterland of mountain ranges. Eprapah’s freshwater creek opens to an inter-tidal zone with Mangrove forests which lead to its estuary on the coast of Moreton Bay, with boat access to the Bay’s many Islands and tourist attractions.
Eprapah Visitor Centre,
424 Cleveland-Redland Bay Road,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Web : http://www.eprapah.scouting.net.au
Environmental features of the Centre:
Eprapah lies in a Catchment which holds a mixture of agriculture and fast-expanding residential and business development. Eprapah contains predominantly dense bushland containing rainforest, wetlands and marine habitats, with a freshwater creek and ponds, and a dry Sclerophyl forest, all accessed by trails and boardwalks. Its’ extremely diverse and varied habitats support a wide range of vegetation, birdlife, Koalas and other wildlife. There is an Arboretum of Native, Medicinal and Traditional-use plants and a Butterfly Garden. It was used as a camping and hunting ground by Aboriginal tribes and is officially listed as an Indigenous Cultural Heritage site.
Environmental Education Programmes Available :
Eprapah’s unique combination of different habitats provides an ideal teaching environment for activities, projects and training for all Scout sections and their Leaders. Most programs are “hands-on”, and are based on the World Conservation Badge requirements, Venturer and Rover Challenges, Catchment Care and Water Quality, Soil sampling and coastal tidal flat studies. Climate Change and Water Conservation issues are also being addressed. School Programs are conducted for students of all ages, and Environmental Education and recreational activities for the general community are also offered.
Environmental Management of the Centre + Environmental features of the Centre:
Eprapah is managed as a State-owned Camping and Training ground by Scouts Queensland Inc. It does not currently have a Caretaker/Warden and all programs, maintenance, development projects etc. are provided by volunteers – an Environment Training Team for programs, with practical support for the site from the Eprapah Scout Fellowship. Funds are generated from grants, and site fees from users.
Main achievements to dates:
Australia’s first and only National SCENE Centre. Eprapah became a pioneer model for the first Environmental Education programs in Australia in the early 1970’s, with its training methods adopted by professional educational institutions. It hosted a successful and ground-breaking 5-day live-in Asia/Pacific Environmental Conservation Seminar (APECS 85) for 33 delegates from many countries in 1985.
Goals for the future:
1. In 2008, while celebrating Eprapah’s 80th year and the Australian Centenary “Year of the Scout”, to address Eprapah’s Future Directions.
2. To have NSO support rather than the Centre being the full responsibility of the State.
3. To restore the Eprapah Cottage.
4. To employ a full-time residential Eprapah Manager/ SCENE Coordinator who would manage the site, coordinate and help to devise/deliver programs and take responsibility for promotion, public relations and Campsite and Bunkhouse management, site maintenance etc.
5. To have WOSM support, to facilitate exchanges of visits of Scouts with/from other SCENE Centres and develop electronic communication networks between Centres to establish dialogue about programs, projects etc.
In the late 1970’s, the Eprapah team made a conscious decision to share its considerable environmental education knowledge, resources and training methods with professional educators, and many lecturers/teachers attended Eprapah, resulting in Scouting’s methods being adopted and used by formal educational institutions. Inevitably, over the next two decades it is believed that this formal environmental education adversely affected the number of paying clients attending Eprapah’s activities and courses. Consequently, with reduced income, Eprapah has now become a drain on Scouts Queensland’s finances, as site fees from programs are not sufficient to pay rates, insurance, liability etc. It is also ideally situated in the midst of the fast-growing Redlands to break into the burgeoning and lucrative Redlands EcoTourism market. A “new look” now needs to be devised and different and innovative programs delivered to attract more Scouting and community clients. Eprapah is ideally situated in the midst of the fast-growing Redlands to break into the burgeoning and lucrative Redlands EcoTourism market. Some EcoTours have been initiated by the supporting Scout Fellowship, but shortage of trained volunteers and the pressure of other site responsibilities have so far not allowed for proper promotion and development of these tours. An injection of funds is needed to restore the Warden’s Cottage. With National support and the appointment of a paid residential Eprapah Manager/ SCENE Coordinator, Eprapah could soon be re-vitalised as a successful and self-supporting Environmental Education and World SCENE Centre, to again realise its unique and full potential