Students become hands-on conservationists

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Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

Dunsborough Primary School’s Year 5 and 6 classes took to the foreshore last week, spending Thursday morning maintaining local bushland as part of the Rio Tinto Earth Assist program.

The program was led by Conservation Volunteers Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to conserving the natural world by connecting volunteers to their environment.

Rio Tinto Earth Assist engages with thousands of school students across the country, immersing them in the natural environment and taking them through hands-on activities aimed at furthering their conservation knowledge.

Dunsborough Primary School teacher Helena Nicholson said the students loved getting involved in the program.

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“They’re out in the fresh air, they’re having an impact and they’re learning the life skills,” she said.

The students spent the morning weeding around the bases of newly planted trees and clearing litter in the area.

Student Alexandrea Corica said it was important to plant and look after trees because they were part of the environment.

“If we look after the environment, the environment looks after us,” she said.

Developed in partnership with Rio Tinto, the WA Department of Education and the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Rio Tinto Earth Assist aims to further embed this sense of coexistence within students across the State.

Conservation Volunteers Australia program co-ordinator Laura Folan also highlighted the importance of the program.

“(The kids) go home and tell their parents and it slowly leads to the whole community aspiring to make a change from this early stage of learning,” she said.

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