Students from Booleroo Centre District School, Gladstone Primary School, Jamestown Community School, Laura Primary School, Orroroo Area School, St James School and St Joseph’s School recently took part in the annual Appila Springs Education Day.
Volunteers from the Caltowie Corridors of Green group have held the event since 2001 to educate local young people about a range of natural resource topics, fostering a greater understanding of our environment and why it needs to be protected.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Ranger Rebecca Brown said the group of 156 students thoroughly enjoyed hearing from a wide variety of guest speakers and learning in an interactive environment.
“This is such a unique opportunity for the local students, and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves while learning about our natural environment,” Ms Brown said.
“The volunteers are extremely dedicated to making this day happen and organising such quality presenters.
“Without a dedicated and passionate volunteer group such as the Caltowie Corridors of Green, an event like this could not have been created and sustained for such a long period of time.”
Ms Brown said that while the wind was cold, the sun was out and students had a great day learning about an exciting range of topics and meeting so many experts in the field.
“This event provides a rare opportunity to get a hands-on experience of native plants and wildlife that children living in remote areas aren’t often exposed to,” Ms Brown said.
“We had a range of guest presenters, including Animals Anonymous, the Flinders Geology, Gem and Mineral Club and Greening Australia, covering topics from seed dispersal methods and butterflies, to bugs and slugs, macroinvertebrates, rocks and minerals and reptiles, including the threatened pygmy bluetongue lizard.”
Among the crowd were 20 volunteers, presenters and staff, including Secretary for the Caltowie Corridors of Green, Kay Jaeschke.
“The Education Day has become ingrained in the community culture, and students look forward to the day they’re old enough to attend and teachers use the day’s activities to provide additional learnings in the classroom for the rest of the year,” Ms Jaeschke said.
“The volunteers work very hard to organise the day, and the support from NRM staff has been invaluable. It’s extremely rewarding for us to see the students and teachers having so much fun and enjoying the educational activities.”
The Appila Springs Education Day was organised by the Caltowie Corridors of Green and supported by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke. The group was successful in receiving a Northern and Yorke Community Grant in 2016-17 which helped to fund the event in 2018.
For further information about the NRM Education program, visit http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/northernandyorke/get-involved/education or phone the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3400.