Students explore the biodiversity of Victoria Park
A group of thirty students from three schools across the Upper Yorke Peninsula region recently took part in the second Young Environmental Leaders (YEL) workshop for the year at Victoria Park, a public bushland park that was established 130 years ago, in Moonta.
The students, who attend Moonta Area School, Maitland Lutheran School and Harvest Christian College, were involved in tree planting with Friends of Victoria Park volunteers and enjoyed an educational presentation on insects by Kristen Messenger from ‘Bugs and Slugs’ which included the chance to handle live specimens.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Fabienne Dee said that the Young Environmental Leaders Program supports schools to participate in community driven natural resource management (NRM).
"Being able to link young people with volunteers that work to improve the environment is a great way to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, enthusiasm and respect for our valuable natural spaces," Ms Dee said.
"Learning in a bush setting enabled students to observe the relationships between invertebrates, plants and birds, helping them to develop an understanding of the variety of roles invertebrates play in the ecosystem.
"A quick look at a decomposing tree gave students a new respect for the use of hollows and rot in dead and dying trees."
The students were shown how to distinguish different types of insects, the tell-tale signs of insect activity and how to identify the architects behind some of the tracks and traces that invertebrates leave behind. They also learnt how to effectively plant tree and grass seedlings and how different bird species can be supported sustainably within the park.
Harvest Christian College Year Five teacher Karen Brown said eight Year Five and Six students from the college are participating in the YEL Program.
"The students particularly enjoyed planting seedlings in Victoria Park, handling the insects and earning a badge after presenting their research into the Leafy Sea Dragon," Ms Brown said.
"They are involved in the planning and creation of an outdoor learning area in the school grounds, while including other students from a range of year levels."
Funding and support for the Young Environmental Leaders program is provided by the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board through funding from the National Landcare Programme.
Schools interested in learning more about the Young Environmental Leaders program should contact the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3444.