Local high school students recently swapped the classroom for a swamp as part of an interactive learning opportunity.
Students from Mount Gambier and Penola high schools undertook wetland assessments and habitat restoration at Penola Park Swamp as part of the 2020/21 Grassroots Grants program funded by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board.
The partnership between Timberlands Pacific, Nature Glenelg Trust and Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation delivered a project with valuable, immersive educational experiences in the field.
The students gained knowledge of wetland ecology, seed collection and germination, biodiversity, habitat conservation and the importance of cultural connection to country and the history behind local First Nations people.
Mount Gambier High School teacher Jess Magarey said the Penola Park Swamp project provided a natural environment for students to learn and added immense value to classroom content.
“A number of activities were set where the students learnt ‘how to’ and then undertook assessments of the area, providing an engaging way to cover the curriculum content,” she said.
“The students really enjoyed putting their classroom lessons into practice on the ground and learning how their actions can have a lasting impact on the landscape.”
A Landscape Board spokesperson said the Grassroots Grant program supported the local community to play a significant role in sustainably managing landscapes.
“The Penola Park Swamp project has enabled students in the region to develop a deeper understanding of landscape management and the outcomes needed to generate change in their local environment,” the spokesperson said.
“Through continued education, with this hands-on approach, students continue to gain the knowledge and skills required to lead the future in landscape management.”