studying soils in the forest
Dear supporters and friends,
Here is the latest update from our Young Eco Leaders who are hard at work changing their little corner of the world. And this semester we’ve been literally getting our hands dirty, learning about different soil types, about how different soils have different filtration rates, studying the rate of soil compaction, and discovering that different plants require different soils.
Of course being young and super energetic, our students love going out on our forest trails. So we took them on a long hike to find seeds for our forest nursery. They learned how to identify several different tree species by observing the shape of the tree, its leaves, bark, and fruits, and observing the birds that eat the fruit. It's a big job - did we tell you we have twenty thousand plant species in the Atlantic Forest?. We also talked about creating organic fertilizer, and discussed the environmental and economic benefits of using it.
Later on we had a round table discussion on the challenges facing our community, and identified one problem which seems to be common to communities across the world: the quantity of garbage produced and discarded! As good researchers, we paid a visit to the recycling unit in our town, interviewed the staff, and then carried out a survey of garbage produced by the community. It's amazing what you can learn from examining what people throw away! We were able to build up picture of local consumption habits and in return relate that to health problems like obesity and diabetes. (You've guessed it - lots and LOTS of empty soda bottles.) We also discussed how some forms of garbage could be recycled into useful and beautiful items. At the end of the day our students are beginning to acquire a notion of some of the complex questions facing our societies and some of the possible solutions.
But the most important thing is this. We want to help raise a new generation of young people who are critical and creative thinkers. We want them to share their insights and information, with each other and with their families, since they are full of energy and love to talk! We were thinking about this last week when we had a meeting with the municipal Secretary of Education to talk about how we could involve the students more and more and really help them become change makers in the community. Because our future depends on them and it’s up to us, together with their families and teachers, to build a better future.
So we’re counting on your help, dear friends, because without you we couldn’t get it done.Together we’re fighting to create a program of environmental education that will transform our students and inspire them to go out and change the world!
rainforest love to you all,
Arielle, Luiz, Demian and the Young Eco Leaders
learning about filtration
caring for the seedlings
meeting the secretary of education