A child discovers the intricacy of a butterfly during the Green Heroes education program.
A child discovers the intricacy of a butterfly during the Green Heroes education program. Contributed

Green Heroes take students back to nature at school

IN A recent social trend, parents are trying to get their children back in touch with nature by teaching them more about the environment.

Fingal Head-based Green Heroes environmental group is planning to make those lessons a little bit easier by offering nature programs to Tweed schools.

Following the success of the group's holiday programs, organiser Sarah Jantos said she hoped Tweed primary schools and preschools would embrace their educational program.

"There's a big trend at the moment for nature schools, bush schools, re-wilding and all these research studies showing how beneficial it is for students to engage in more nature play in their education,” Ms Jantos said.

"In bringing these classes outdoors you're meeting all other curriculum requirements.

"There's all this problem solving, mathematics, imaginative play, creative thinking and all these things the children need to achieve in a year are still done but in an outdoor setting that actually has a really practical conservation element.”

Ms Jantos said there were 11 different sessions offered, each with a focus on a particular species or environmental impact.

"If all of these schools can get together for this program we can actually target species that would otherwise be extinct,” she said.

"That's a really exciting thing for a child to be involved in and to have the opportunity like that.”

Ms Jantos said getting students involved in the different programs would be a great way to ensure children learned the importance of conservation.

"We've got a butterfly program with Gold Coast Butterflies which is specifically targeting the endangered Richmond Birdwing butterfly,” she said.

"If we can get lots of schools to go down that butterfly theme we can have live butterflies in the classroom and the kids can learn about the life cycle but we could also plant a butterfly garden that would support an entire colony of the Richmond Birdwing butterfly.

"If lots of schools did that we could potentially save a species that's losing a stronghold in the Tweed.”

Ms Jantos said she believed the program would be a great asset to a child's education and would set them up for years to come.

"A lot of research suggests that by the age of seven, children have formed concrete ethical and moral values about how they're going to live their life and that includes career choices they will make and how they interact with the world around them,” Ms Jantos said.

"If you can nurture that love of nature inside a child, you pretty much can secure a conservationist in that early stage. So, no matter what they choose to do in life they still grow up with that sensitivity to the environment and conservation.”

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