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Students diggin’ hands-on conservation learning


Students from Teralba Public School got their hands dirty planting a sustainable future last week. 

The 130 junior eco-warriors helped establish a tiny forest on the school grounds, aimed at fostering environmental stewardship. 

Tiny forests are inspired by the Japanese concept of “Miyawaki” forests. 

They are densely-packed, native species-rich ecosystems designed to maximise biodiversity and carbon sequestration within a small area.  

The miniature powerhouses offer numerous other benefits, including enhanced air and water quality, habitat for wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor learning.  

By partnering with local, not-for-profit organisation The Groundswell Collective, Teralba Public School students are taking steps towards creating a sustainable learning environment. 

The Groundswell Collective co-founder Anna Noon says the impact of the initiative stretched beyond the Lake Macquarie region. 

“By creating urban tiny forests, we offer hope, inspiration, and actionable ways for students and communities to combat climate change,” she says.

Callum Dittes, Hunter Urban Forests, Mark Colquhoun, The Groundswell Collective, Robyn Green, Teralba Public School, Anna Noon, The Groundswell Collective, Richard Metcalf, Teralba Public School, Sam Des Forges, Hunter Urban Forests.

The tiny forest consists of 500 native trees and was made possible through funding provided by Carbon Positive Australia. 

The group also partnered with Hunter Urban Forests to help drive the project. 

“Together, we’ve transformed an unused area, about the size of a tennis court into a thriving ecosystem that will benefit both present and future generations”, Ms Noon commented. 

Teralba Public School Principal Richard Metcalf says the project offers students an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of ecological principles. 

“We are thrilled to embark on this initiative. Not only will it contribute to the conservation of local biodiversity and improve the amenity of the school, but it will also provide invaluable opportunities for our students to connect with nature and enhance their wellbeing,” he explained.

Through hands-on participation in the planning, planting, and maintenance of the tiny forest, it’s hoped students will also cultivate a sense of responsibility towards the natural world. 

For more on The Groundswell Collective:

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