Students take environmental learning to the Arid Lands

News article |

Students from five local schools took their environmental studies to the field last week, with a visit to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens near Port Augusta for some hands-on propagation and investigative work.

A total of 29 students from Wilmington and Melrose primary schools and Orroroo, Hawker and Quorn area schools took part in the field visit as part of the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Young Environmental Leaders program.

NRM Upper North and Flinders community team leader Kate Pearce said the May 15 visit was a great opportunity for the students to learn first-hand about the environment.

"The students loved getting out and getting their hands dirty," she said.

"We’re very fortunate to have the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens here, virtually in our backyard, and it was a great chance for the students to get out amongst it."

Teachers and NRM staff joined the students in a propagation session with Arid Lands nursery staff, including a tour of the plant nursery and learning the process of propagation before planting out tube stock into larger pots.

Another highlight of the learning day was a Desert Detectives activity.

"Students were given a map of the Arid Lands and set a challenge to solve the crime of the missing birds Craig and Clarissa by following clues to different spots around the gardens," Kate said.

"This activity provided the students with interesting facts and information about the different areas of the garden, as well as the landscape, and they had a lot of fun trying to solve the mystery."

The visit to the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens was one of five learning days planned in 2015 for the group of Young Environmental Leaders as part of the NRM in Schools program.

Schools involved in the program will work on environmental projects throughout the year, with support from NRM Northern and Yorke including access to education resources, visits from NRM staff and help in applying for funding for environmental programs.

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