It's about to get wild at Mandurah Forum this winter with the Critters Conservation Centre set to officially open on Saturday, July 13.
In a Western Australian first, the centre will provide an engaging and educational experience about local flora and fauna to encourage awareness of the environment, with a discounted $2 general entry on opening day.
The long-term addition to the centre will offer a captivating program of activities for budding conservationists, young and old, including special school holiday events.
The programs that will be on offer at the Critters Conservation Centre will include:
- General entry - general entry for all ages to see the critters and meet the wildlife experts for interactive education
- All abilities sessions - for members of the community of all abilities and ages, with reduced noise and smaller groups
- Little Critter sessions - introducing kids aged 0-5 to use their senses to learn about critters
- Junior Critter Conservationist Club - a four-week program for kids aged 6-12, learning about different groups of critters each week
- Critters for curriculum - for school excursions
- Critter presenter for a day - a one-on-one mentoring program for teens ages 13-17 with a special interest in wildlife
- Critter crazy wildlife party - small groups of all ages for a close-up wildlife experience (team building sessions, Christmas parties etc.)
- Critter childcare sessions - 1.5 hour sessions for kids aged 6-12, allowing parents and guardians to shop or dine while their children are supervised
The brain behind the Critters Conservation Centre is Critters Up Close founder and Mandurah wildlife warrior Michael Smith.
Mr Smith said the centre would provide unique experiences to inspire future generations to preserve the environment and help native animals thrive.
"The Critters Conservation Centre at Mandurah Forum is an amazing opportunity for our environmental education mission to reach so many more people and for parents to have their kids participate in a number of engaging and informative programs all year around," he said.
"It's a really exciting time, this is not a typical environment and I think the most important part is that this is accessible to all abilities and demographics."
Forum centre manager Jacqueline McKenzie said it would offer a unique experience for the community to come together throughout the entire region.
"Visitors will be able to have a truly unique experience by coming face to face with the state's native animals. We're thrilled to be able to offer visitors of all ages a remarkable interactive and educational experience," she said.
"With the Winter weather this school holidays, we are pleased to be able to offer a hands-on nature-based environmental experience in a comfortable, indoor space."
Need to know
Session lengths will vary from self-paced general entry visits to full-day excursions for school groups, with most sessions being one-hour long.
Group sizes will also vary from 15-30 participants dependent on the session type.
The Critters Conservation Centre, near Target, will be open from July 6-12 for sneak peek pre-booked sessions only before the official opening on July 13.
Discounted general entry for $2 will be available until July 19.
The centre will be open all week during school holidays and from Wednesday to Sunday during school terms.
The opening hours will be from 9am-6pm weekdays and Saturday, 9am-9pm on Thursdays and 10am-5pm on Sundays with some sessions by appointment only.
For more information about Critters Conservation Centre, to book tickets, or to view the schedule, visit the website.