One hundred of Mulyan Primary School’s Year 3 and 4 students enjoyed outdoor lessons on the Lachlan River recently, some touching the river for the first time in their lives.
On the day, Aboriginal students handed their peers images of native flora and fauna that live along the Lachlan and joined in discussions on the Aboriginal Totem system that once guarded every species against extinction.
On the shallow sandy banks of the river, students each created a science experiment looking at erosion and what makes the river muddy.
Students concluded exposed soil causes erosion.
They found ground cover from trees, grasses and their root systems held soil in place when it rains.
“We looked at how Cowra sits in the middle of the Murray Darling Basin, said one student.
“I was surprised to see the river system travelled through four States of Australia starting in Queensland and came out at its South Australian mouth, five times saltier than the ocean,” he said.
Landcare coordinator, Jayden Gunn, explained the important role tree hollows play in supporting native animals including the superb parrot, the squirrel glider and other woodland birds.
Students studied food webs and were surprised by the massive eco system that a single gum tree supports.
“We learnt it takes over 100 years for a gum tree to form a hollow,” said a student.
“Old trees are important homes and food sources for native wildlife even if the trees are dead,” said another student.
“Mid Lachlan Landcare takes great pride in running its student workshops free for local schools,” said Landcare Education Officer, Trudi Refshauge.
“Students from all over Australia travel to Cowra to participate in our education programs,” she said.
“I knew this fabulous environmental program was right on our doorstep and I’m so happy I organized for our middle school to get involved,” Mulyan Deputy, Lisa Cummings said.