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Seeds from schools

Ecolinc
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Background

The Seeds from Schools program arises from the Seeds from the Streets project that was developed by Victoria University. This project was founded on the identified need for an abundant source of seed that could be used for native grassland restoration projects in the west of Melbourne, without overharvesting from naturally occurring plant populations.

The Seeds from Schools program aims to introduce school students to the unique nature of a grassland environment and for students to actively participate in a hands-on project. The Seeds from Schools program provides a circular learning approach that can cycle each year:

Students will participate in three sessions with an Ecolinc Environmental Educator. They will learn about the importance of the grassland environment and its biota; grow a crop of the threatened grassland plants in a garden bed in the school grounds (prepared by the school); maintain and eventually harvest the seed from this crop; attend at least one field excursion to visit a grassland restoration site (e.g. Victoria University Grassland, St Albans) and participate in habitat restoration activities, which may include sowing of the seed that they have harvested.

Schools must be prepared to do the following:

  • Allocate and prepare a site at your school to plant the grassland plants.
  • Participate in three days:
    • Day 1: At Ecolinc – Introduction to grasslands (either term 1 or 2)
    • Day 2: At School – Set up and plant garden beds (either term 2 or 3)
    • Day 3: Grassland visit & seed harvesting at school (term 4).

Note:

  • Maximum number of students for this program is 75.
  • For the grassland visit on Day 3: Students will need to bring appropriate clothing according to the time of year and forecast. This includes solid footwear as well as sunscreen and hat (spring/summer), waterproof coat and hat (autumn & winter).

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Understand the terms grassland, ecosystem and biodiversity
  • Demonstrate how plants and animals depend on each other and the environment to survive
  • Learn how indigenous plants provide shelter, food and nest sites for native animals
  • Learn how to propagate indigenous plants.

Activities

Students will participate in this program over 3 separate days throughout the year:

  • Day 1: At Ecolinc – Introduction to grasslands workshop and activities.
  • Day 2: At School – Setting up garden beds and planting grasses.
  • Day 3: Grassland visit and harvesting of seeds at school.

Victorian Curriculum

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075).