Ardastra Gardens introduces new environmental education virtual program

Flamingos enjoy their habitat at Ardastra Gardens

The Adastra Gardens Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Centre has re-opened after being closed for months due to the covid-19 pandemic. Executives say continuing their mission in educating students about the many animals the centre houses, is crucial to raising awareness about local wildlife.

Animal Manager, Hendrew Haley says that in the past, the facility hosted large school groups on field trips and outreach programs where they would go to schools and have children interact with some of the facility’s animals.

He says they have adjusted and revamped the program to continue the educational campaign.

“During the lockdown we’ve been coming up with a lot of virtual education content, so we are basically working on different topics and we are going to have a nice video shot where it’s all things Adastra.

“We use the animals here and we cover just basic topics depending on what the classrooms may need. For example, classification or the national symbols of The Bahamas” he said.

Haley added that the program was crafted with convenience in mind. Teachers will be able to subscribe and have access to the videos in the program, which will make it possible for virtual education.

“It’s going to come complete with crafts and different activities to do, so it’s going to be a good learning experience and we’re just trying to just get creative like any other business that’s been affected” he said.

Haley says that their deadline for videos to be completed is January and school teachers who want access can simply reach out to Ardastra Gardens representatives.

Caribbean flamingos and snakes are popular draws for children, particularly the flamingos because there are not many places where people can get close to them.

“With them being very skittish animals and the environment that they live in so far away from humans, it’s virtually impossible, so that’s definitely none of the big draws. Another one is the Bahamian boa.

“A lot of people they are afraid of snakes, but they don’t mind seeing them from a safe distance. They don’t mind learning about them, so definitely the snakes, I would say the Caribbean flamingoes and just all the various birds, the parrots, the beautiful colours. the kids love to hear them talk” Haley said.