Environment SA News

School’s out(side) for SA students

National parks will form the backdrop of new learning destinations to provide students greater educational opportunities in nature.

School’s out(side) for SA students

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has signed a new partnership with Children’s University to formally recognise some of our most prestigious and historic landmarks as learning destinations.

Run by the University of Adelaide, South Australian children aged 5 to 18 are encouraged to explore and discover new ideas, concepts and experiences through visiting and undertaking various activities.

Schools sign up to the program and encourage their students to get out into nature and learn about what our state has to offer in terms of nature but also future study and employment pathways. Activities and participation hours are then recorded in a passport, and certificates awarded each year at a graduation ceremony.

This year walking trails, campgrounds, Park of the Month events, and self-guided activities in our national parks will be included alongside a number of DEW sites already participating, providing students with additional learning opportunities in their passport journey. Current DEW Children’s University sites include Adelaide Botanic Garden, Cleland Wildlife Park, Fort Glanville Conservation Park, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Adelaide Gaol, Naracoorte Caves National Park and Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park.

Altogether 2801 students from 137 schools graduated in South Australia in November last year and almost 500 organisations supported the Children’s University program.

Director of Community and Nature Partnerships Mary-Anne Healy said it was wonderful to announce this new partnership between the Department for Environment and Water and the Children’s University.

“It will enable children to learn more about the many wonderful parks and reserves we have here in South Australia through the Passport to Learning Program,” she said.

“I hope it encourages students to go on to further study and learn about our natural history. After all, these young people are the future and will be developing solutions to some of our biodiversity and climate change challenges.

“It’s important that all students have the opportunity to enjoy and learn more about our beautiful parks and environment through this new learning opportunity.”

Managing Director Children’s University Australasia and Africa (IO) Kiri Hagenus says the Children’s University is incredibly pleased to announce the new partnership with the Department for Environment and Water.

“This partnership will reach across South Australia offering Children’s University members many amazing learning opportunities,” she said.

“It is so important, especially in the current climate, to encourage children and young people to step out into the environment and connect with nature and DEW is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to engage with these magnificent natural resources.

“Many members of Children’s University are very concerned about climate change and what they can do to help. We hope this partnership will also give children and young people a chance to become further involved and understand their role in protecting South Australia’s fragile ecosystem.

“We would like to thank the Minister and the DEW staff who have made this partnership possible, and we cannot wait to see all our members out and about, visiting and learning in South Australia’s beautiful nature parks and reserves.”

To find out more visit www.cuaustralasia.com