Land managers of the future empowered through Weed Warriors program
11 July 2018
The land managers of the future are now better equipped to tackle pest plants in the environment thanks to the South East Natural Resources Management Board’s Weed Warriors school program.
Natural Resources Management Officer Aidan Laslett said the aim of the program was to interact with local school students and to equip them to manage weeds throughout the South East.
“The Weed Warriors program combined classroom learning with practical outdoor activities,” Mr Laslett said.
“It was designed to teach students about the impact pest plants have on the environment, agriculture and personal safety.”
Grant High School teacher Josh Praolini has been involved with the Weed Warriors program for more than two years including classroom sessions and field trips participating in on-ground weed control. One such field trip involved removing Coastal tea-tree and Polygala at Port MacDonnell.
“Today has been really exciting to put some of that theory into practice,” Mr Praolini said.
“It also gives the kids a chance to have a bit of ownership of the nature around Mount Gambier.”
Although the Weed Warriors program has come to an end, it is hoped that the key messages live on.
“Through the Weed Warriors program over the past five years, we’ve interacted with hundreds of students,” Mr Laslett said.
“These students are the land managers of the future, whether it be a big farm or a backyard in town, so we hope they’ll continue to be able to control and identify weeds and be aware of the issues around weeds in our environment.”
The Weed Warriors program is supported by Natural Resources South East through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Natural Resources Management Officers are available across the region to provide advice to landholders about pest plants and animals. To get in touch, visit the Natural Resources South East Website for details of your closest NRM Officer or call the Natural Resources Centres in Mount Gambier 87351177 or Keith 87551620.