National Tree Day activities rich soil for learning in Secret Harbour

 Arlo Owen testing the suitability of the soil for tree planting.
Arlo Owen testing the suitability of the soil for tree planting.

THERE are just certain things, no matter how much we are told not to do them that we must do anyway.

Arlo Owen knows this and proudly showed his friends just how tasty dirt can be.

Young Mr Owen and his peers attend the Secret Harbour Early Learning Centre and last Friday enjoyed a day of festivities dedicated to National Tree Day, July 30.

Organised nationally by Planet Ark the centre was one of 147 groups hosting the event in WA.

This year the focus is on the three skills kids will need the most in relation to climate change.

Planet Ark commissioned a report, Learning from Trees: Life Lessons for Future Generations II that looks at how prepared the next generation is to tackle the biggest future challenges facing humanity.

The United Nations identified challenges we face include food security, refugees, access to clean water, population increase, and climate change as the most concerning overall.

Director of Outdoor Connections Amanda Lloyd, showed students in outdoor learning programs perform well academically and learn problem solving, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and resilience.

Further research showed 77 per cent of teachers reported improvement in standardised test results, and exposure to natural environments reduced stress, enhanced concentration and creativity and increased productivity.

“The recent inclusion of outdoor learning in the Australian Curriculum is a leap forward for future nature-based experiences within the school day. For most children, the majority of time at school is spent inside a classroom sitting at a desk,” Dr Lloyd said.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. All it takes is to think outside the box — no walls needed.”

National Tree Day manager, Debbie Agnew said parents, teachers and carers can imbed nature time in a child’s life.

“Simple activities like riding bikes, going for a bushwalk, taking homework or meal time outside, or joining organised community activities, like Guides or Scouts and National Tree Day, can have a significant and long-standing impact on a child’s connection to nature,” she said.