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Aimed at installing a model school nursery, students and teachers of Adaoay National High School undergone a lecture-training on Ideal School Nursery Establishment and Maintenance facilitated by the Upper Agno Watershed Area Team (UARWAT) earlier this week at Brgy. Adaoay, Kabayan, Benguet.

Around 50 student and teacher participants were equipped to translate learned knowledge into entrepreneurial skills and action projects during the lecture and demonstration.  Further, they were educated them on how to reduce greenhouse effect and carbon prints through seed germination, seedling dispersal, and tree planting.

The UARWAT forest guards led by Sr. Forest Ranger Pio Bagiwan and Nursery Officer-in-Charge Milanda Equinio served as lecturers. They shared on site selection and land preparation, nursery design and layout, steps in setting up of nursery, soil mixture and mixing, pot filling and placing, planting techniques, watering, weed and pest control, shading, nutrient, and seedling management and protection from mechanical damage.

Meanwhile, Josephine Tayoco, Community Relation Officer- IP Program talked on Basic Eco-Composting. She demonstrated on how to make compost from nursery wastes and on the appropriate structuring of the composting infrastructure; while Rhe-Ann Ngayaan, CRO-Bantay Watershed Task Force shared on nursery tips and techniques such as sourcing and selection of seeds for seedlings propagation, preparation of seedbed and germination medium, and sowing of seeds in the germination bed.

Also, the participants were able to gain additional wisdom from Section Chief Onofre S. Castro on proper seedling handling and transplanting.

Seedlings must be handled by the root ball or pot, not the stem. They must be grown first to a larger size depending on the species before transplanting to a permanent location to increase their chances of survival, said Castro.  

On the other hand, Sr. Watershed Management Specialist Guazon H. Garcia discussed on seedling management, technical ways of checking and evaluating the quality of seedlings, weeding and control of seedling diseases, and other maintenance activities.

We remain committed in turning schools to be ideal and competent seed/seedling source, collection, and storage and germination/propagation areas, ended Garcia.

The learning activities provided concrete experience to students especially those interested in taking the Technical-Vocational-Livelihood Track. It had encouraged them to apply and hone their skills during the nursery-making said Janet Manio, YES-O adviser.

In line with the Department of Education's Clean and Green Program bannering the core value of maka-kalikasan, UARWAT eyed schools as partners in its seedling dispersal program and rehabilitation projects within the watershed area.

The school administration had tapped the expertise of UARWAT as the contest on the search for the most clean and green school in Benguet Division was on for the month of September. The installment of school nursery is just one of the categories to be judged. 

UARWAT will be conducting the next phase of coaching in the said school. Advance nursery management will be tackled such as proper uprooting and transplanting of germinated seeds out from the school nurseries to the school backyards for tree planting.