Young environmental leaders mark successful year - Southern Flinders/Upper North

News article |

Young Environmental Leaders (YELs) from the Southern Flinders and Upper North celebrated a successful year at a workshop hosted by Hawker Area School recently, including a visit to Jarvis Hill Lookout.

A group of 25 year 5-7 students from Wilmington Primary School (PS), Orroroo Area School (AS), Melrose PS and Hawker AS gathered to celebrate and present on sustainability projects completed throughout the year.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke community ranger Sarah Voumard says she was thrilled with the presentations made by the students to wrap up their 2014 projects.

“The end of year presentations were well-researched and gave a good insight into what the students had been working on this year in their schools,” she says.

“The students enjoyed seeing students from other schools, working with them to learn about the environment and hearing about or seeing what sustainable projects they have in their respective schools and what they focussed on for the year.”

Projects undertaken at the schools included: Hawker AS awaiting council approval to plant native vegetation between the road and new Hawker swimming pool; Orroroo AS promoting the school’s sustainable initiatives including solar panels, rain water use, recycling and garden plot; Melrose PS site clean-up and fruit tree planting; Wilmington PS planning a native garden with edible natives, visiting the Arid Lands Botanic Garden to select suitable plants.

Three workshops were held throughout 2014, bringing the students together from the participating schools to take part in a series of hands-on activities.

The projects undertaken at each school were student-driven and chosen by the students and their school to reflect school and community environmental needs, as well as each school’s capacity to successfully undertake the project.

Sarah says the YEL program – an Australian Government Caring for our Country-funded project - had far-reaching benefits.

“The students loved getting outside and planting trees and walking through areas of native vegetation and learning about what lives there,” she says.

“We found that the students, whether they were interested in the environment at the start of the year or not, are now more environmentally aware and more likely to recycle and actively approach things sustainably.”

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke are calling for schools to be involved in the YEL project for 2015. All schools in the region have been sent information packs and registration forms, but for more details contact Sarah Voumard on 8658 1086 or 0429 362 004.

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