28 May 2012

Volunteers at the Festival of Biodiversity

Volunteers make it happen! Their passionate contributions brought the Marine Exhibition to life! And made the many educational booths possible.
But most importantly, their infectious enthusiasm made it fun for everyone at the Festival. Here's a glimpse at some of the people at work and behind the scenes.

Sankar worked tirelessly at the seagrass station for two straight days! He shared about seagrasses and TeamSeagrass. And also gave funky names to some of the mascots!
Siti also gives the seagrass tank a good run for the hordes of kids that came on Sunday. Thanks to Siti and other volunteers, we gathered the seagrasses and live marine creatures a few days earlier from Chek Jawa and Cyrene Reef.
Pei Yan of the Naked Hermit Crabs also continuously manned the live sea star station for two days! She not only shared about these wonderful creatures but also made sure they were not prodded to death.
Rick was another marathoner at his marvelous mangrove station by the Mangrove Action Squad. Enthralling the kids with stories and information about our amazing wild mangrove forests.
Dan Friess is a secret weapon at the mangrove booth. We learn that many small children mistake him for Harry Porter! We must exploit this for the next Festival.
Jia Ling was a happy presence at many of the booths.
More volunteers also came by to help at the popular tank.
Marcus captures the kids' attention at the Seashore CSI booth. It's full of bits of dead animals that ordinary people can find on a shore. What died? Who killed it? Thanks to Sabrina for making the awesome banner and little photo labels.
More volunteers hard at work!
November (left) and Debby at the funky food chain game station by the Hantu Bloggers.
More volunteers at sharing about our shores at the station.
Joseph Lai dropped by to show us a different way to view the food chain! Starting with humans at the BOTTOM and plankton at the TOP.
Chay Hoon's awesome marine colouring sheet is a big hit! And why should only kids have fun colouring!
Rene photographs some secret adult colouring going on at another part of the Festival!
Photo by Rene Ong
Just before we shut down on Sunday, Samantha, Mei Lin and Siti quickly have a go at it too.
Shao Wei is a member of a fortunately small club of Those Who Have Encountered Stonefish in a Bad Way. Here she is posing with the more cuddly Hollow-cheeked Sockfish which totally lacks spines.
Ivan is another member of this Club. Rene took this awesome photo of Ivan with a real stonefish, fortunately in a jar.
Photo by Rene Ong
Ivan also helped out at the Marine Exhibition, as well as the Raffles Museum booth and gave a very successful talk about the gruesome Monday Morgue during the Festival!
The photographers are seldom in the photo, but they work very hard all the time. Here's Rene lurking for a shot of Pei Yan with the President. I failed to take a photo of Jeremy and Eugene who took lots of photos and have shared them on facebook. Jeremy shared photos on Day 1 and Day 2 and Eugene on Day 1. Thanks to them, we have lots of memories of the Festival!
Jeremy took a photo of me desperately trying to upload photos to facebook on my smart phone. There was just no time or energy to blog on Saturday. Unfortunately, I'm not as smart as my phone. And Ms Soctopus the Hexapus sitting on my shoulder is not much help, although she is one of the smartest of invertebrates.
Photo by Jeremy Ng
As we had run out of fuzzy mascots by the second day of the Festival, an impromptu station was set up to create more of them quickly. It was a surprising hit with volunteers and even visitors wanted to take part. Something to consider for the next Festival!
Thanks to Chay Hoon (with pink stingray) for bringing a new batch of eyeballs, and extra needles. Now everyone can have fun making mascots from bits of socks and gloves. Here's a little bit more about how I made some of them.
Rick got his wish for a fuzzy scorpionfish!
No, Kwan Siong, the mascots are not edible!
Photo by Rene Ong
Mei Lin, aka Giant Clam Girl, and her fuzzy baby giant clam!
Who says only girls can sew?! Real Men can make fuzzy mascots too. As Jim demonstrates with great enthusiasm.
The Festival and the Marine Exhibition would not have been possible without the months of hard work put in by Linda (left) and Jocelyne from NParks.
And of course Sabrina, who put together the Marine Exhibition. She also took care of the live exhibits -- which turned out to be quite challenging! And constantly checked to make sure the volunteers had everything they needed. Thank you ladies!
Siva and Airani stop by the exhibition. The Festival is Siva's brainchild. He initiated similar events in the form of EnviroFest. It has since grown to become bigger and better! More about the background to the Festival and the Biodiversity Roundtable.
We were so busy the volunteers forgot to take nice photos together. And I missed taking photos of some of the volunteers. Sorry! This is one of the few group photos I have: of Pei Yan, Ley Kun and Siti. Thanks to them and many many other volunteers who made the event possible.
The Marine Exhibition was manned by volunteers from these marine groups!
Blue Water Volunteers
Hantu Bloggers
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Mangrove Action Squad
Mega Marine Survey
Naked Hermit Crabs
The Leaf Monkey Workshop

All this effort is well rewarded by the delight visitors express at learning more about our shores. The littlest visitors are the cutest. This little one is taking photos with her toy phone!
Thanks to the volunteers, I am sure the many many visitors now have a much greater awareness of our rich marine biodiversity and how they too can make a difference. From the tiniest kids to the crustiest adult.

I am deeply touched by their tireless work over two hot humid sweaty days, taking care of all the myriad facets of this marvelous event! More about what happened at the Festival in this post.

No need to wait until the next Festival to see our marine biodiversity!

Explore our shores! Among the upcoming events is the FREE tour at the Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk this Saturday by the Naked Hermit Crabs! More wild walks, talks and more on wildsingapore happenings.

Act for our shores! Ordinary people CAN make a difference for our shores!

1 comment:

  1. Aww!! What a fun post to read through! Thanks for blogging about it and keep the memories :)



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