Trail to weave natural stories

Outside learning: Noorat Primary School Grade 5 student Bailey Christison and Grade 1 pupil Taylor Hansen are looking forward to works introducing an interactive biodiversity trail at the school to begin, thanks to a recently announced State Government grant.

NOORAT Primary School students have already started to come up with ideas for a new biodiversity trail project, which received a State Government grant last week.

Parent and one of the key leaders in seeking the grant Tania Moloney said it was exciting to receive $2332 in State Government funding for the ‘interactive biodiversity and nature connection trail’ project through the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants program.

“Grants for environmental initiatives for kids and schools are getting increasingly competitive, so we are thrilled that our project at Noorat Primary School has been chosen as one of the successful grant recipients amongst so many great project ideas,” she said.

“The fact that there are so many grant submissions is really fantastic because it means that there are lots of great projects happening all over Victoria that have great outcomes for kids, teachers, schools, communities and for nature too.”

Mrs Moloney said initial plans for the trail included cut-outs of the children with questions about local biodiversity as a way to involve children directly in the learning experience.

“Providing kids with regular and meaningful opportunities to connect with nature can help improve their physical, mental, social and emotional health,” she said.

The trail would be installed around the school grounds and also integrate the school’s existing ‘sensory garden’ space.

The project would include lessons about local flora, fauna, landscape and local aboriginal stories and culture to create an educational, fun, interpretive and interactive trail.

Mrs Moloney said the school hoped to include QR codes, AUSLAN and Braille into the trail to allow for greater accessibility and interactivity.

“It’s really important also that we help kids get to know and learn to love nature from an early age so they grow up with a strong connection to it and are more compelled to want to care for it,” she said.

“Projects like this are vital in helping nurture our future environmental stewards.

“We’re excited about getting this unique and really hands-on project started and see it take shape.”

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