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Field Naturalists celebrate 90 years

Thursday, 5th August, 2010

* Ken Mills, president of the Barrier Field Naturalist Club, in front of the  90th anniversary exhibition. * Ken Mills, president of the Barrier Field Naturalist Club, in front of the 90th anniversary exhibition.

The Barrier Field Naturalists Club will be celebrating its anniversary today by holding an exhibition at the Albert Kersten Mining and Mineral Museum.

The exhibition, "90 Years of the Barrier Field Naturalists" will be opened by city archivist, Brian Tonkin.
It opens at 6.30pm and will showcase the history of the club.
The exhibition will be open until September 11 and members of the public are invited to attend. Admission to the exhibition is free for local residents.
When the club first formed, members met at the Technical College in Argent Street.
They were interested in investigating the natural environment in the West Darling area and recording the achievements of some of the pioneers in the district.
The exhibition showcases the history of the group's monthly field trips to observe plants and animals that lived in this unique semi-arid region.
Records were made of birds, reptiles, animals and unusual plants found on properties visited.
Graziers always welcomed club members, as they were interested in the wildlife living on their properties.
Flower shows featuring wild flowers were well attended and very much enjoyed by the people. Local wild flowers were collected and some were sent from other states for display at the shows.
In return, the club also collected and sent flowers to Western Australia, Sydney and Adelaide clubs, by air, for their shows.
Before the formation of a historical society, the Barrier Field Naturalists researched the early history of the pioneers, and erected commemorative plaques on buildings or on cairns, as permanent tributes to the great achievements of those times.
These plaques still provide points of interest for locals and visitors.
The club was greatly involved in caring for the environment. Working closely with mine managers and the council to promote the use of trees, club members planted many trees in parks, including some at Penrose Park in Silverton, and those in McGillivray Drive at the foot of the line of lode, which is a memorial to the founding president.
The club now supports Landcare BH in continuing this important work on their regular monthly meeting nights. There are guest speakers and presentations on natural history topics, in a friendly and relaxed manner.
The club aims to promote friendship and enjoyment through the study of nature.
For further information contact Ken Mills on 8087 1575.

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