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Young leaders dig in for the environment

News release
18 August 2022

Young Environmental Leaders from 21 primary schools across the region got together for the third time this year to broaden their knowledge of their landscape and make a positive impact to the health of our ecosystems.

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board hosted 69 students across two days in Naracoorte and Mt Gambier as part of its Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP).

The highlights of the forums included Landscape Officers sharing their knowledge of pest plant and animal control and guiding the students in a weed removal session. Students removed two declared environmental weeds - boneseed and wild olives using the hand pull and ‘cut and swab’ technique.

Senior Landscape Officer for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, Geoff Bowman highlighted the importance of the interactive learning days with the students.

“It was great to work with a really enthusiastic group of students demonstrating the hands on weed control techniques we use, and they managed a sizeable impact in just one hour.”

“Educating and raising awareness on the scale and type of weeds in the Limestone Coast, and the effect they have on the environment is the key to protecting sites like the Crater Lakes.”

“The environmental leaders made a huge impact removing two truckloads of weeds that were competing with the native plants at both the Naracoorte Caves and the Crater Lakes sites,” he said.

The forums also provided an opportunity to build awareness about the importance of healthy soils and how to capture carbon in soil.

Guided by Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, the students were able to compare the pH of different soil types.

Moorak Primary School teacher Penne Paltridge attended the Mount Gambier session and was impressed with how the day was educational and fun.

“The students were on task with each activity and really focussed in their learning. They especially like going up to the Lakes Complex and cutting and swabbing the woody weeds.”

“The students were amazed with the amount of wild olive trees, which are weeds, growing in the area and are now keen to go back with their class mates to do the weed control again,” said Ms Paltridge.

The Young Environmental Leaders will meet for the final time in three months to share the sustainability projects they have been working on within their school community.

Facilitated by the Education Team for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, YELP is a series of forums to encourage youth voice and action on Limestone Coast environmental and sustainability issues.

The forums offer landscape education activities and support to schools in the region and provides an opportunity for children to learn about natural environmental functions and provide them with an understanding of conservation methods and sustainable management practices.

Young leaders dig in for the environment
Young leaders in front of a truck load of woody weeds at Crater Lakes

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