Up to 10,000 Eurobodalla children have benefitted from a program that has helped grow the botanists, scientists and environmentalists of the future.
The Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens school education program is celebrating its 20th year of showcasing the importance of native plants to schoolchildren.
Every Year 4 student in Eurobodalla attends the program, spending a day at the Gardens getting their hands dirty and learning about the importance of growing local species rather than introduced ones.
Above: Broulee Public School students Kiran Hutton, Dein Foster and Kai Pratt l ook closely at a plant species.
Botanic Gardens Manager Michael Anlezark said the program aimed to raise the profile of plants among young people and encourage the pursuit of science studies.
“This is a real hands-on program with students dissecting flowering plants to help them understand the connection between plants and animals and how plants are vital to our existence,” he said.
“Students get their hands dirty while they pot-up seedlings to assist the Gardens with its propagation program.
“The Gardens’ volunteers also take the students on interpretive walks, passing on their years of plant knowledge to the next generation.”
Above: Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens volunteer Marie Zuvich leads Broulee Public School students Sunni West, Ava Perra, Sarah Clarke and Maddison White on an interpretive walk.
Mr Anlezark said the program’s 20-year milestone was a testament to the hard work put in behind the scenes. He praised Council’s environment team and Education Officer Bernadette Davis, who is a driving force behind the project.
“Bernadette was there when the schools program kicked off 20 years ago and we’ve seen it grow each year, offering local kids stuff they just can’t learn in a classroom,” he said.
“Of course we couldn’t do it without our wonderful Gardens’ volunteers, they also play a vital role in these excursions.”
Mr Anlezark said he looked forward new opportunities to branch out the program in the coming years.
“Our redevelopment of the Gardens’ visitors centre over the next couple of years this year will provide a better space for the school groups, including room for electronic microscopes and monitors to help them discover new worlds,” he said.
“We look forward to sowing the seeds of a love of science in our region’s young people for decades to come.” Media Release