01 March 2009

"Life between the Tides" another great workshop!

A gathering of shore enthusiasts met on Friday night to share about our precious intertidal shores.A cheery notice on the classroom door, drawn in minutes by Chay Hoon, greeted participants.

November, who runs the Workshops, kicks off the session with an introduction to the group.A wide variety of volunteers were at the session, from many different groups. With many first timers. So we were glad to have veterans to help facilitate the break out groups. As well as a strong turnout by the Horseshoe Crab team from NSS led by Dr Hsu.

It was a special pleasure and honour to have Joseph Lai, the man behind the Chek Jawa story, with us at the session.Joe shared some inspirational thoughts and stories with everyone.

After my rather long-winded introduction to intertidal zones, we break out into groups to discuss how to set up a guided walk on a shore.The discussions were lively.With lots of happy sharing.There was attention to aspects to minimise damage to the shores while we share them with visitors.With much thought put into designating a 'Zone of Death" or designated trail and area that visitors would be limited to. As well as how to set up "Sensing Stations" to sensitise visitors to the fact that every inch of the shore is alive.

Then it was time to present ideas about how to choose a good date for a walk, design a route and also deal with "annoying" visitors.The groups were very inventive, with one scattering chairs to show the locations of live corals.There were lots of detailed illustations of what to do and how to get it done.

This one was very graphic...Complete with illustrations of unhappy animals who might be too stressed by inquisitive visitors.The most engaging part was the role playing of how to conduct the sensing stations.With some veteran guides role playing some of the typical visitor behaviour, to the great dismay and amusement of everyone.Eric did a great job as annoying visitor, apparently the group unanimously voted him to play this role.Eric also kindly brought along his fabulous underwater photos to share towards the end of the session. Here he is clowning around with the classroom equipment as we hook up his Mac.We sneaked a peek at some disturbing photos he had of a fish market in Indonesia. Where all kinds of sharks were butchered and sold. At least it the entire shark was consumed.

It was certainly a learning session for everyone, meeting November's tagline for the Workshop: Learn, share and DO! I believe we all learnt from one another, I certainly always learn from participants. And this was only possible with the joyful sharing that everyone participated in. And I'm glad to hear that the sharing has inspired many to continue to DO!

Other blog posts about this event
More about our intertidal shores on the wild fact sheets of wildsingapore

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