Trinity College is fortunate to have 535 acres of natural bushland adjacent Para Wirra Recreation Park known as the Blackham Environmental and Conservation Centre.
Over the past six months, continued enhancement of the Blackham property has meant expanded offerings for students to learn a diversity of bush skills. The site has a sustainability classroom and shelter shed allowing several classes to use Blackham at once with everyone learning in different locations – a true bush experience of isolation.
The Blackham property features composting toilets, rainwater tanks and a weather monitoring station. Students can also monitor solar and wind systems via an app.
Students from years two to Year 12 have access to the property where the college teaches environmental science, land management and conservation values. Of course, the stunning natural setting unconsciously promotes a love of the bush and the various activities you can only accomplish there including camping, cooking on a Trangia, building a go-kart, rock climbing and learning orienteering skills.
Students can mountain bike on challenging trails, hike on a variety of tracks and study the effects of the 2015 bush fires that went through the property. The college has hosted student leadership challenges, initiative tests and boot camp activities.
Experiential Science classes’ visit weekly investigating a range of environmental topics. The diversity of vegetation, landscape and rock types provides a host of learning opportunities in the areas of biology, geology and geography. You can see plenty of native wildlife and flora.
Blackham contains remnant vegetation typical of the northern Mount Lofty Ranges particularly important in the context of biological diversity as it extends the area of native vegetation available to native flora and fauna and is a refuge for many threatened species. The endangered pink-lipped spider orchid (Caladenia behrii), which only occurs in the Mount Lofty Ranges can be found in the east of the property.
Students perform land care, manage issues of erosion, conduct weed control and water quality testing. The property has a waterfall creek area, views of the dramatic gorge of Tenafeate Creek and an old mining site.
The Blackham bush classroom is only 16kms from the Evanston South College site and is an easy bus ride for students.