Looking At Landcare (13/7/2018) – Health Benefits of National Tree Day

Hi Landcarers!

Have you RSVP’d for National Tree Day (NTD) activities yet? We have two events coming up on the last weekend of July in Parkes and Forbes. 

We would particularly encourage landholders and families in the Parkes and Forbes Shires to join us on the day. We look forward to catching up with everyone over a BBQ lunch. NTD is a good opportunity to meet new friends and catch up with some old ones!

Have you thought about some of the benefits of joining us for NTD? Last years report from Planet Ark examines how prepared the next generation is to tackle the biggest future challenges facing humanity. These challenges have been defined by the United Nations and include food security, refugees, access to clean water, population increase, and climate change the most concerning overall.

The report, Learning from Trees: Life Lessons for Future Generations, which is sponsored by Toyota Australia and released ahead of National Tree Day, asked 200 Australian teachers to identify the crucial skills students will need most to tackle global challenges, such as climate change, in the future.

Teachers (100 primary and 100 secondary) ranked the following skills and attributes in order of importance: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); problem solving and critical thinking; creativity and innovation; compassion; ‘grit’ (determination, resilience, perseverance); emotional intelligence and trade skills.

The results show 60% of surveyed teachers chose critical thinking and problem solving, grit and emotional intelligence as the most important skills. Interestingly 60% also ranked these skills as their students’ weakest, with grit the weakest overall. Only 4% of Australian teachers considered STEM in the top three most needed skills.

Research cited in the report shows how children can develop these key skills by learning outdoors, both during and outside of school hours, so providing opportunities for outdoor learning is a critical priority for parents, teachers and the wider community.

In the report, Clinical Psychologist, Kirrilie Smount talks about the resilience related skills that we need to be teaching our children. These aren’t learnt from a book. She says, “One of our important tasks in caring for children is to teach them to think critically and flexibly, use strategies to persist and find motivation even when the going is tough and to get better at relating to each other. This is the job of parents and carers, schools and teachers and society as a whole. We will need to give children practice in solving problems, discuss with them how they can persist through hardship and explicitly teach them emotional intelligence skills. We need to talk about these skills when we read with them, get them noticing how they use these skills when they play and model them ourselves in front of children. We need to provide them with play opportunities, conversations and learning environments which reinforce their learning in these areas”.

When you go to the Planet Ark website to register for National Tree Day, you can check out the report and find out more information. The 2018 report is due for release on Friday, 13 July.

We would love it if you could join us on Saturday, 28 July at Forbes from 10am at the Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre or on Sunday, 29 July at Parkes from 10am at the Akuna Road.

We will have NTD merchandise provided by Toyota for your wearing pleasure. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat. Go to the treeday.planetark.org to register or contact me.

For further information and links to further information in this article, please go to our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org, our facebook page, cwllpo@hotmail.com or ring 02 6862 4914.

Until next week, happy Landcaring!