Queens Park Environmental Education Centre update needs your ideas

It’s been a much-loved destination for more than a decade and now there is an opportunity to take the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre into a new phase.

The centre recently closed to the public to minimise public health risks during the COVID-19 outbreak, but council’s Environmental Education Officer Sienna Harris called on anyone who has visited the centre to get involved in a much-needed update.

“The centre may be closed for now, but we still want you to interact with us online,” she said.

“You can leave your feedback on the current displays and any ideas you have for how we can improve things at

“There are plenty of pictures there to jog your memory.”

Ms Harris said countless visitors, young and old, had pushed the centre’s red buttons to make animal sounds, or learned about everything from energy efficiency to healthy waterways through the displays.

“However, best practice in environmental education has changed and we want this centre to be a leading example,” she said.

 “We also value community input to make sure we are reflecting themes and experience that are meaningful to Ipswich.”

The initial feedback gathered from Shape Your Ipswich will guide an initial concept design. There will also be an interim update to refresh the current displays.

Ms Harris said the goal is to provide an interactive space, suitable for all ages and abilities that has environmental themes relevant to life in Ipswich.

“You can put in ideas for a new experience, or different topics or themes, or for the inclusion of new technology – it’s completely open,” she said.

“The centre will have ongoing processes in place to collect your feedback when it reopens, as we want to be constantly hearing from you about what you love, and what we could do to create an even better experience.”

The digital engagement is open on until 15 May 2020.

Know more about Ipswich


  1. The current mural and trees with sound buttons are simply awesome and it’d be a terrible shame to see them “updated” (read: removed?).
    It would be great however to see more technology included for kids to interact with and to learn about native animals in their area and ways to look after them. And more information about plantings like the ones you provide in your awesome Landowners Partnerships Programs.
    Maybe a treasure hunt of hidden pictures or models of native animals and plants that kids can tick off as they travel through the centre instead of just colouring.
    The fishtank that teaches about waste in waterways is excellent as is the encouragement of recycling.
    It’s cool to see the possum boxes but I’ve often seen them and thought: why not offer them for sale? You could even have classes for families to come and make them and other great ideas (like bee hotels and appropriate bird feeders) to encourage animal life.
    You really should consider stocking a curated and beautiful selection of child and family friendly books about wildlife, conservation, community and nature, toys (like stuffed versions of the gorgeous animals you have in the nature centre) and small items and rotate stock to keep it fresh. That would keep a mother like me coming again and again to buy new treasures to read with my children, and new projects to engage them in our garden. This would also give the lovely ladies behind the desk something to do besides looking wary and disapproving of children making any noise or touching things in the space or having anything food-related.
    Some connectedness to your nursery would also be great, like tube stock for sale, or simply photos of ways to plant and encourage the plants you have on offer. Maybe a link also to the Nerima Gardens and ideas about plantings and the notion of tranquility and zen.
    What seems especially missing in your nursery and this learning centre (from the perspective of an educator and gardener) is native bush tucker plants and links to our Indigenous historical groups. Plantings on offer and education around paper bark trees, lemon myrtle, old man saltbush, midyim berry and many more would be really excellent.
    I realise most of the secondary room is open so it can be used for a variety of set-ups, but maybe instead set it up a certain way like in a library and leave it set up, encouraging children to use tables and chairs and writing/colouring equipment there rather than simply running around in the open space.
    There’s so much in Queens Park to enable residents to take pride in Ipswich including this space as it is already and it’s wonderful to see it being developed further to greater potential!

  2. I feel there should be a lot of information on indigenous topics . Bush Tucker, what things are called in the local indigenous language and what that translates to in English. Grow bush ticker and even maybe sell some if you can grow enough . Indigenous leaders could maybe show what it was used for and how they prepared it for different things . Maybe special events where the items are prepared and used , whether it be for healing or cooking . Have bush tucker cooked the traditional way and have taste testings.
    You could have permanent displays and / or talks on how the indigenous ppl controlled environmental issues .
    I think it would very interesting to see and learn and compare white man’s ways vs indigenous ways , in a friendly , all inclusive way . I don’t know anything about technology so have no ideas when it comes to that. But I believe actual hands on experiences stay with children , they remember it , so the more they can get involved the better.

  3. We really enjoyed when we visited. I appreciated the information about fire ants, it showed me what to look for. I would love to see more info on other local pests, how to recognise them, info on the harm they actually cause and what to do about it. Example: how to tell the difference between cane toads and local amphibians.

    Would also love info on other local species and how we can help them thrive in Ipswich. Info on native plants as well.

    The fish tank with rubbish in it really caught my children’s attention, they were shocked by it and it became a real conversation starter for them.

    I agree with someone’s comment above that learning more about the local aboriginal history and culture would also be valuable.

    How about wild life warrior challenges bingo? Eg. Picking up rubbish, removing a weed, planting a native, composting scraps etc. Something families can refer back to and challenge themselves with.

    There are some composting initiatives around Ipswich, more information on what to do with kitchen scraps would be great as well.

    Anyway, these are my brain storm. I’m sure whatever you guys come up with will be great!

  4. What about educating the public, about the local and the Australian Megafauna, / Dinosaurs? / indigenous animals by creating an experience through the fun of a mini-golf course? filled with signs and interactive questions and facts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button