The Forest Education Foundation teachers, Darcy Vickers and Hannah Kench, have recently returned from a Study Tour in Portland, Oregon, USA. We have met some amazing educators delivering some equally amazing programs, supporting all levels of schooling. Many of these programs involve the support of trained facilitators and volunteers (often part-time or retired teachers / industry representatives / land owners and interested parents) to deliver education programs. These partnership programs explore a number of curriculum areas including, agricultural, forest and environmental education outcomes.
Our visit has highlighted many opportunities for developing similar partnership programs in Tasmania, particularly with regards to new openings arising from programs related to revitalising school farms across Tasmania. The systems and processes for developing and delivering programs,
we have seen during our visit to the US, have been invaluable. Trees on farms support biodiversity, contribute to farm productivity through shelter belts for increased crop yields and animal welfare and can be managed for native forest or plantations – the opportunities for connecting education programs are definitely worthy of further discussion.