Project #6938


by The Earth Trust
Dec 26, 2012

Learning from Nature: The Shola Forest Experience

Reconnect children with Nature: Seeding the importance of conservation of the unique shola forest at the right age group in an enjoyable way.  

Organic agriculture follows the laws of nature. The below mentioned 88 Eco Club students and 10 teachers from 8 rural   Eco Club schools were exposed to 3 different Shola and grassland forests in Nilgiris. (Wet evergreen montane forest)

While the waste biomass accumulates, the children begin to discover and to learn the basic principles of organic agriculture. A field trip to an area of indigenous forest (Tropical montane evergreen forest/ shola and grassland forest) provides the springboard. Here they witness a self-sustaining integrated eco-system with natural mulch, humus formation, mixed species, diversity of wildlife and so on. As a comparison, they then visit an exotic forest of pine, eucalyptus, or wattle. The differences are apparent: only one species, no birds, sunlight burning the open forest floor, hard ground, little humus.

The eco-club members can easily grasp the parallels between shola forest and organic farming, and between exotic forest and conventional farming.

The Learning: 

  • About the natural forests soil health
  • Shola Biodiversity (Plants &animals) Soil, Multitier system, Natural mulch, Water holding capacity of the soil, diversity of the plant species and animal species in the forest ecosystem.
  • Importance of Shola & Grassland vegetation 
  • Preliminary study on enumerating the grassland species to observe the species diversification
  • In addition we expose them the impact of monoculture (Eucalyptus, Acacia, Pine etc) and invasive (Cytisus, Cestrum, Ulex, Eupatorium) 


At the end of the programme a quiz was conducted to refresh what they have learned from the shola forest experience.

  • This programme was an eye opener for the students and teachers. It gave first hand information and experience on the Shola forest
  • Students were able to realize the urgent need for the conservation of biodiversity
  • They were able to distinguish native and alien plants
  • Helped to identify active students for our follow up programme
  • Teachers understood the seriousness of conservation issues
  • Established good rapport and better understanding among students and teachers 


Sr.No       Name of the school              No of students     No of Teachers          Place 

1           P.U.M.School ,Kollimalai                11                          1        Glenmorgan  Forest

2              P.U.M.School, Thenalai                  12                          2        Glenmorgan  Forest

3              P.U.M.School, Sogathorai                9                          1        Glenmorgan  Forest

4              M.M.School, Attadi                        12                          1        Kodanadu Forest

5              M.M.School, Bandisolai                  21                          2        Kodanadu Forest

6              P.U.M.School, Kilkowatty                 9                          1        Pykara Forest

7              P.U.M.School, Adasolai                    9                          1        Pykara Forest

8              P.U.M.School, Odaikadu                   5                          1        Pykara Forest

                                        Total:     88                       10



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Organization Information

The Earth Trust

Location: Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Vanya Orr
Ketty Post, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu India
$11,863 raised of $88,200 goal
166 donations
$76,337 to go
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