A PROJECT launched on Friday morning aims to educate the Ballarat community about the abundance of bird species that can be discovered at Lake Wendouree. The joint project, devised by Don Holmes of the Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society, has been organised in partnership with BirdLife Ballarat and aims to raise awareness of the more than 140 bird species which can be found at Lake Wendouree. A free exhibition - Birds of the Lake - will run from January until Easter and features photographs of the many different birds which can be spotted at the lake. Within the exhibition there are both printed photographs taken by mostly local photographers, as well as digital displays. Further, a section of the exhibition is dedicated to the photographs of birds that can be found at the lake throughout the year, as captured by professional landscape photographer Andrew Thomas. In addition to the exhibition, keen birdwatchers or those who simply wish to learn more about the wildlife at the lake, will be able to board the paddle steamer with a member of BirdLife Ballarat to see some of the creatures up close or through the lens of a pair of binoculars. BirdLife Ballarat's Ian Ashton said the lake was a great asset to many in the community, including to birds. Of the 144 species which have been recorded at the lake, some are visitors which stop by from all over the world. These include species from the Arctic and from Japan. Following some refurbishments, the museum was reopened for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale last year, with more than 2500 people streaming through its doors. After this success, its members decided to change the theme being exhibited from landscapes of the lake to continue bringing more people through the doors. A five year program was created with the first theme chosen the birds of the lake. The display will change every few months, with ideas for more than 15 different displays on the cards. Future themes to be exhibited will include the history of the lake and the paddle steamers themselves. The initiative is a chance for the community to broaden its knowledge about the diverse wildlife that can be found in the heart of the city. As such, it is hoped many school children will visit the exhibition to learn about what creatures can be discovered here and in turn, understand the importance of protecting them now and into the future. The free exhibition will run from January until Easter at the museum at Lake Wendouree. The museum will be open every Sunday from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Meanwhile, people will be able to board The Golden City Paddle Steamer from Pipers by the Lake at 1.00pm each Sunday at a cost of $15 per person. Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.