Written by Petricia A. Hutasoit (BNF education staff)
Borneo Nature Foundation’s education program is facilitating learning and education for youth and adolescent in and around Sebangau forest, aiming to reconnect children to nature surrounding their immediate environment, one of them is by introducing community seedling and plant nursery at young age. This children group, who name themselves as Anak Sebangau, or Children of Sebangau, visited a community seedling nursery near Sebangau forest and be introduced to one of the most important phase of conservation effort, particularly in reforestation and forest rehabilitation: A community-based seedling nursery, run and managed by committed local community in Kereng and Sabaru, to support the collaborative reforestation effort of fire-damaged forest in Sebangau National Park.
The next day, children visited another community-based nursery in other location that implements different method of nursery. In this location, children saw one planting bed covered individually with nets and stand a bit distant with each other. At previous location, all seedlings are planted in different planting bed but under one big net. The children were curious as to why. A community member working at the nursery explained that each individual net functions to protect the seedlings from leaves falling from surrounding trees. These dead leaves if goes unattended could block the sun from the seedlings which can hamper its growth. So, each planting bed uses individual net for easy cleaning of dead leaves from surrounding trees. In that location, children also participate in planting seeds in polybags, but with a little different step. Children had to carefully observe and clean all stone, roots and wood scraps from the soil before planting the Jambu-jambu (Syzygium havilandii) seeds. After its completed, the children organised each seed plant in planting beds, and then water them.
From this experience, we want children to get knowledge and understanding about plant nursery through fun and hands-on learning. We believe that we can learn anything new every day, anywhere and from anyone.