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Posted on 09 May, 2024

Expressions of Interest Now Open! Litchfield and Palmerston Primary Schools Now Eligible to Take Part in Native Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity Program!

Expressions of Interest Now Open! Litchfield and Palmerston Primary Schools Now Eligible to Take Part in Native Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity Program!

With the highly successful pilot run of the Native Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity Science Education Program delivered to Darwin Primary Schools this year, more funding has come through for Litchfield and Palmerston Primary Schools to participate. Thanks to the support of City of Palmerston and Litchfield Council the program will engage more young students in the unique hands-on learning led by local Top End Flora and Fauna Science Experts.

The program, developed last year by Landcare NT in partnership with Territory Native Plants and the Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary, was initiated in response to an overwhelming demand from teachers seeking local expertise about how to better prepare future generations to effectively engage with habitat conservation and climate change. 14 Primary Schools from the Darwin region were selected to participate in the program during Semester 1, with sessions set to end in mid-June.

Guided by the expertise of Top End Botanist Dr. Donna Lewis and Practicing Vet Nurse and CEO of the Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary Ally Szyc, and other assistant facilitators, students participated in activities that helped them develop a deeper understanding of the importance of native ecosystems and build their connection with their local environments. Activities centered on identifying, engaging with and learning about local animals and plants found on school grounds as well as specimens brought in by Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary and the NT Herbarium.

Feedback from the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with teachers indicating that the learning is highly engaging and informative and something that would be welcomed by other grade levels and again by current participants if other topics should be introduced. Many students and teachers commented on how much they enjoyed being able to look at plant specimens under the microscopes that were brought in, and to interact with the animals provided by the Darwin Wildlife Sanctuary. Overall, the sessions provided students with a deeper understanding of the role of humans play on biodiversity and of the plants and animals that call their backyards and local environments home.

Some of the teachers indicated the program also provided them with ideas for future lesson plans and ways to continue their learning in environmental science.

There is the huge potential for future expansion to include a broader range of age groups and other passionate local environmental science experts presenting on environmental topics, such as native bees and bugs, magnificent mangroves and Indigenous bush tucker & cultural use.

“Not only does the program teach students about the role of native flora and fauna in creating habitat and enhancing biodiversity but will hopefully inspire them to understand the importance of preserving and protecting natural environments in support of a more sustainable, greener future,” says Emily Raso, Chief Executive Officer of Landcare NT.

Outcomes from program will be utilised to seek ongoing funding.

Schools & educators from the Palmerston and Litchfield areas are now invited to submit an 'Expression of Interest’ for their class to take part in the program in Semester 2. Expressions of interest close on Friday, May 31, 2024.

To learn more about the program or express your interest visit or get in touch with Emily Raso at 0476 516 631 or by email at [email protected].

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