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Sea Lake students immersed in “Wetlands Learning”

STUDENTS from Sea Lake’s Tyrrell College immersed themselves in learning about Mallee wetlands at the Hattah Lakes last week.

The 17 year nine students were part of a Mallee Catchment Management Authority program called “Wetlands Learning”, developed specifically for Mallee students.

The program involves introductory classroom sessions on how wetlands work and are managed in the Mallee, as well as an overview of the Hattah Lakes.

A two-hour field excursion session at the Hattah Lakes allowed students to get a more hands-on approach to learning about the local environment.

Mallee CMA Chairperson Sharyon Peart said the program was aimed at building students’ understanding of Mallee wetlands and the work being done to support them.

“Wetlands Learning aims to help students understand how our own local wetlands operate naturally, as well as how our own actions as a community affect them, both positively and negatively,” Ms Peart said.

“The aim is to help students understand concepts such as environmental watering and how the wetlands can be protected and their environmental values can be improved by the works and management actions the Mallee CMA is undertaking.”

Seven schools across the Mallee are taking part in the Wetland Learning Program over the next six months. About 350 year nine students visiting a range of wetlands, including Hattah Lakes, King’s Billabong, Wallpolla Island and Nyah-Vinifera.

The Wetland Learning Program is supported by the Mallee CMA through funding from the Victorian Government.  Parks Victoria and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder had input into the program’s development.

Ms Peart said feedback from Tyrrell College students was positive.

“We think it’s a great opportunity to take the classroom outdoors and obviously the students loved being out in the bush on such a beautiful autumn day,” she said.

“The feedback from Tyrrell College students was that the messages about endangered species at Hattah, such as Regent Parrot and the goanna, really resonated.

“They also enjoyed learning about the links between various plant and animal species through food chains and the food web.

“The positive feedback is great because it reaffirms that making the opportunity for kids to get out into the wetland areas and learn in a hands-on way really works well for many students.”

 Schools interested in becoming involved in the program can contact the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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