Getting hands on at Wyperfeld National Park
Wednesday 16 October, 2019
Local students and visitors to Wyperfeld National Park are benefitting from an education program taking place in the park which sees the pupils spending one day a week out of the classroom doing practical tasks in nature and improving accessibility to the area.
Eight students from Rainbow P-12 College are taking part in a program called Hands On Learning, supported by Save the Children and in partnership with Parks Victoria.
Hands on Learning is a practical program run in schools that increases student achievement by creating opportunities for young people to discover their talents and experience success through hands on learning.
For the past six weeks the students have been working at the popular Wonga Campground, paving an area near a large picnic shelter to enable better access for those with limited mobility or in a wheelchair.
Given the success of the program, the partnership with Parks Victoria will continue and the next focus for the students is likely to be installing new bollards and planting to revegetate a section of the campground.
Quotes, attributed to Justin Oakley, Area Chief Ranger, Parks Victoria:
“Wonga Campground is popular with groups of older visitors so the work the students have completed will make it easier and safer for people to enjoy the picnic area. Their work is contributing to our focus on keeping parks open, safe and clean.
The students love getting out into nature and completing the practical tasks. They are positive, focused and work well together.
You can see them thriving, learning and getting the physical and mental health benefits that come from contact with nature.”
Quotes, attributed to students at Rainbow P-12 College:
“I like Hands On Learning because it means I can give back to the community and the Wonga Campground facility is used by lots of tourists and visitors to the Park.” - Natalie Jenns, Year 7, Age 12
“I have only lived in Rainbow for 18 months and did not know we had a national park so close with great walking trails. It has been good working with Parks Victoria as I have learnt something new every time and created new ideas to do at home with the skills I have learnt. Justin [Parks Victoria’s Area Chief Ranger] has been a great teacher for me and has made the project even more enjoyable. I have enjoyed working outdoors and seeing the wildlife as well as hearing about the different career paths within Parks Victoria.” - Christian Salpietro, Year 9, Age 15