Students dig in - Restoring river health a boost for creativity

Jaimeson and Maela prepare for planting along the Campapse River on National School Trees Day. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

Jaimeson and Maela prepare for planting along the Campapse River on National School Trees Day. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

Kyneton Secondary College students took part in National School Trees Day on Friday and joined with the Campaspe River and Land Management Group to plant about 500 trees and shrubs along the Campaspe River.

Teacher Anwyn Chapman said it was a great opportunity for students to leave their desks, get outside and learn how to care for our environment.

"By taking part in activities such as this, they learn about the important role nature plays in the life of our planet and why we must protect it. As Albert Einstein said, 'Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better'," Ms Chapman said.

More than 2500 schools get involved in School Trees Day each year, Australia's largest tree planting and nature care event.

Planet Ark, which organises National School Trees day, has commissioned research which shows students who take part in outdoor learning activities develop key skills like emotional intelligence, grit or resilience and problem solving. They also perform better in reading, writing, maths and science, with 77 per cent of teachers reporting student improvement in standardised tests. The research also shows that time spent in nature helps reduces stress and enhances concentration and creativity.

Some Australian schools are starting to model international schools such as Finland where primary school-aged students must spend 15 minutes every hour outside whatever the weather. Researchers identify outdoor learning as an important element in Finland's successful development of the best primary school system in the world, performing highest on international benchmarks.

President of Campaspe River Land Management group Peter Harding said the group was delighted to have students from Kyneton Secondary College again helping with revegetation works along the Campapse River.

"Our ongoing work along this river is helping restore the health of the Campaspe and bring back threatened species such as the hairy anchor plant."

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