With the commencement of three new Landcare Coordinators in the Western region it was determined that a key focus of their role would be to promote Landcare across a range of mediums. Primary Schools were identified as a key target audience; however a challenge arose when deciding the best method for connecting with school aged groups as the obvious choice of school kitchen gardens were already underway across most of the Western Region.
National Tree Day was identified as a platform to promote Landcare across the region with Primary School aged children. Western Landcare teamed up with Local Land Services Western Region to seek funding for the event. The team then sought out the help of a local native plant expert and a community artist from Bourke who assisted in creating an educational lesson for students from kindergarten to year six. The lesson involved discussing the importance of native plants, plant identification and how to collect seeds from the pods of native plants and germinate them, and why tree planting is important to Landcare. The established program was implemented at four schools Louth, Brewarrina, Wanaaring and Weilmoringle, the children involved completed the lesson and then planted native trees across their school grounds.
The school days were a great success with 150 students from across the four schools participating in National Tree Day, and over 150 native trees planted on school grounds. The majority of students were Aboriginal and the team facilitating the days were amazed when asking the students why trees are important that responses were for medicine, and making tools. Feedback from staff at the schools determined that the students involved gained a great deal from the educational lesson and thoroughly enjoyed the tree planting and Landcare and Local land Service staff felt they had effectively introduced Landcare to Primary School aged children.
For more information and PDF download please visit: https://landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/Western_landcare/national-tree-day-2/