In observance of the annual Earth Day Celebration, a Basic Coaching Activity on putting up a nursery was conducted by the Upper Agno River Watershed Area Team (UARWAT) in schools within the reservation on 21 April 2017. The activity carried the theme, Eco-friendly Nursery: A Tool to Cool Off Mother Earth.
As an extension of its various environmental-related projects, UARWAT aimed at targeting schools. The UARWAT Ambuclao Nursery envisioned at expanding its seed dispersal project not only to its satellite nurseries in the communities but also to schools.
Schools are eyed to be seed/seedling source, collection, storage and germination/propagation area of forest and fruit bearing trees including herbal and medicinal plants. The nursery project is in line with the Department of Education's Clean and Green Program bannering the core value of maka-kalikasan.
Around a hundred participants from Binga, Tinongdan, Itogon, and Sombrero, Ambuclao, Bokod, Benguet were trained in setting up an ideal nursery at Binga National High School and Tublay School of Home Industries- Ambuklao Annex, respectively.
Aside from students and teachers/club advisers of the Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O), community-based youth organizations (such as Lower Ambuclao Youth Organization (LAYO), Binga Hydro Youth Organization (BHYO), Samahan ng Masisigasig, Aktibo, Responsable, at Talentadong Kabataan ng Bokod at Kabayan (SMART KBK), and parents attended and gained knowledge from the resource speakers and facilitators.
UARWAT personnel, who served as resource speakers, lectured and demonstrated the ideal nursery establishment and management practices such as but not limited to: site preparation, care and maintenance activities, Eco-receptacle composting.
An open forum followed after the lecture and demonstration proper where good nursery practices in the following were highlighted: mixing substrate, bagging suitable soil media, potting seedlings, transplanting, shading, tending, water frequency, pest control and protetion, among others.
"We were encouraged to have a compost pit to put our Home Economics wastes as well as nursery wastes to serve as organic fertilizer for our plants", said a Senior High student participant.
The training is hoped to have motivated participants to go into nursery as a hobby as well as in-come generating projects of their respective clubs, said Guazon H. Garcia, Sr. Wat. Mgmt. Specialist in his talk on the Importance of Nursery.
As promising partners in protecting and in sustaining the remaining forest, schools are to be tapped in putting up nursery at the same time strengthening their commitment in environmental preservation and in battling against Global Warming and other ecological crisis, said Nilda Cadio, resource speaker.
Further, students especially those specializing in the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track were encouraged to venture out from their school nursery and make it as a small-scale business after they leave school.
The coaching activity had empowered us of our role in protecting the environment. We made this commitment to share the skill and knowledge we acquired to our fellow youth and to our parents, remarked Realinda Doria, YES-O vice president.
According to Onofre Castro, UARWAT Section Chief, the activity provided an avenue to educate the participants on how to reduce greenhouse effect and carbon prints through seed germination and vegetative propagation while returning some balance to our planet.
"They so enthusiastic about the nursery as they are as enthusiastic in committing for the ecological conservation", added Castro.