This year, seven San Anton students who participated in the LEAF (Learning About Forests) Programme made their school very proud by winning first place.
According to LEAF’s mission statement, “Learning about Forests’ mission is to spread environmental education concerning forests and all their values among school children all around the world, through the action-oriented, participatory, and positive methods of the program.”
In line with LEAF’s mission, Nicole Zerafa, Nicholas Attard, Zach Ciappara, Anne Camilleri, Andrea Coleiro, Kay Dimech and Mirhea Vella all went to Imgiebah Oak Forest in Selmun, where they conducted intensive field work in the area under the supervision of Mr Johann Gatt the co-ordinator of the programme, Mr Joe Attard and Ms Maria Gauci, the Head of Humanities Department. Each student was assigned one particular area of study ranging from the forest’s historical aspect to the flora and fauna found in the area. Our students’ objective was to create an awareness of the fact that boulders where falling into this forest remnant causing significant damage.
When all the students had done their assigned work, they discussed their findings and edited all they had produced into one final report which included their research, first-hand information through field studies, photographs and the planning of a nature trail in the area. In addition to this, a letter was sent to the locality’s mayor in the hope that the report would be considered as a future local council environmental project.
LEAF’s work does not stop here as the main idea behind their project is to save forests all over the world. Although Maltese woodlands are very limited, our study will hopefully inspire more people and students to save the remnants of old forests such as the Imgiebah Oak Forest, which, some experts claim, is around 700 years old.
San Anton’s students’ work will now stand proudly alongside other reports from all over the world and it will showcase Malta’s unique natural environment.