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Identifying Native Trees - Knowing your natural environment

Caspar identifying native plant species

In one of my favourite and most useful posts Meghan writes about what we can do at home to support our children's learning at school. I often look back at this post and one of the activities listed came to mind over the weekend as Caspar collected native plant samples during one of our family hikes. We live near Bruce Ridge and it is a wonderful location. So, so beautiful. 

Caspar taping wattle to page

As Caspar started talking about Casuarinas, Acacias and Eucalyptus I knew we could take this further. Spring is a lovely time to take lots of nature walks and even a hike but is also the best time to be identifying many of these species. 

Caspar identifying native plants

Local field guides are a must! Caspar is using the Field guide to the Native Trees of the ACT published by the National Parks Association of the ACT. It makes it so much easier for children to identify trees as it only contains local trees - the children are not sorting through hundreds of trees but species they are likely to find  in their own neighbourhood. The pictures are really clear, the descriptions, details, maps - this guide is fabulous and if you are local I highly recommend it! This guide is also the right size to take on a nature walk. 

Nature appreciation - field guide to native trees in the ACT

There is lots of information that goes into identifying some of these species. Especially eucalypts. So studying bark, leaf shape and 'capsules' or gumnuts is really important. A practical botany lesson!

Caspar identifying wattle while on nature walk

Fresh air, a lot of fun and a bit of nature appreciation also.  

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