This website is inspired by the International Year of Soils 2015, now the International Decade of Soils, and its first aim “to raise awareness of soils”.
It provides resources for schools, community and people generally to use to learn about soils from as many places and uses as possible. It is a work in progress with new Soil Selfies added as they become available.
The first section is the Soil Selfies colleciton, a collaborative educational resource about soils, what they look like close-up, how they are used and seen by their people. You can add to this resource and/or explore it. It was first presented as a display at the Global Soil Week forum in Berlin in April funded by IASS: Day 1 – the Wimmera (photos), Day 2 – Victoria(photos), Day 3 – the eastern Australian States (photos). The Soil Selfies have been uploaded during the year used in the Wimmera Soil Education Project at eight primary schools and in various other displays, and is continuing on to be used.
The second section is the Soil in Stories, which contains other soil education activities and resources, including the Wimmera Soil Education project . The 2015 incursions into 8 Wimmera primary schools, reached 200 primary children and their teachers – providing hands-on learning activities developed by enviroed4all- and was mainly funded by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.
The first session used the Soil Selfies close-up and in use to expand the IYS theme Healthy Soils for a Healthy life.
The second session applied these ideas to soils the children brought in from home as we looked at signs of healthy places and how this is linked to soil, i.e. as part of systems in our environment.
The third session, Snooping into our Soils, was timed for National Science Week, and looks into the composition of our soils.
The fourth session, Caring for our Wimmera soils, brought all the prior sessions together to share the findings of the 8 schools with each other, identify key clay and sand soil problems of a very dry year and basic principles of how to care for such soils whether they are in a backyard or on farmland.
2015 should not be the beginning and end of learning about soils. There is so much to learn. I hope this website will continue to be a place of resource for basic soil knowledge and an inspiration for continuing that knowledge journey.
updated 6 July 2016