Realising interactive trail plans

Life-size: Noorat Primary School Grade 2 pupil Landon Ross with his wooden cut-out as part of the school’s upcoming ‘Biodiversity and Nature Connection Trail’.

A TEAM effort from Noorat Primary School (NPS) students and Terang Men’s Shed members has seen a new education initiative start to take shape.

Students visited the men’s shed last Wednesday to see the progress on wooden cut-outs which will form part of a ‘Biodiversity and Nature Connection Trail’ throughout the school grounds.

The project received $2332 in State Government funding through the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants program last September.

Nurture in Nature co-ordinator and NPS parent Tania Moloney said the students have started to create their own personal cut-outs, which will form part of the interactive project.

“They are busy planning, researching and designing the trail and the first part of its contruction has also begun,” she said.

“The trail will see life-sized ‘wooden cut-out’ figures of the students and native flora and fauna figures.

“The cut-outs will have questions attached to them or interesting facts about local nature and biodiversity, as well as nature play activities and challenges.”

Fauna figures: Noorat Primary School Grade 4 student Nash Hansen with a cut-out of a Corangamite Water Skink.

The school hoped to incorporate QR codes, AUSLAN (sign language) and Braille into the trail to allow for greater accessibility and interactivity.

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

NPS principal Rachael Buck said the school would welcome all interested community members to view the trail.

“Not only is this project a great learning opportunity for our kids at school, but when it’s done we hope the wider community will come and enjoy this interactive trail and learn about our local nature and have some good old-fashioned outdoor fun too,” she said.

Mrs Buck said the visit to the Terang Men’s Shed was an exciting chance for the students to connect with a key community group.

“It was a fantastic afternoon with the students eager to see how their cut-outs were taking shape and the men’s shed members enjoying teaching and showcasing their skills to the students,” she said.

“Both the school and the men’s shed are keen to further develop and strengthen wider community connections and this project is a great example of how great country communities like ours can support each other.”

The next step in the project will be painting the cut-outs, with local artist Margaret Moloney planning to visit the school to show the students how to bring their pieces to life.

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