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Brewongle Environmental Education Centre

Brewongle Environmental Education Centre

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Geography & science - Adaptations to bushfire

Some plants are more resilient to bushfire than others and in fact, need fire to survive and thrive. Through this excursion and unit of work, students learn to identify local native plants and focus on a number of plant adaptations that make them more resilient to bushfire.

This program supports student learning in the Geography Factors That Shape Places unit and Science and Technology Living World.  

Maximum student numbers: 4 classes 

Download program documents:

Pre-excursion tasks

Please complete the following task with students prior to your Brewongle excursion.

Cool Australia is a non-profit organisation which provides quality teaching resources on a range of topics. Resources are free - you just need to sign up to the site. Their activity on Plant Adaptations and Fire provides a perfect foundation for this excursion. Students should use the resources provided on the site to complete the student worksheet. 

Other useful links include:

  • Kidcyber - Though this refers to adaptations in general and not specifically adaptations to bushfire, it gives a very useful and age-appropriate explanation of adaptations. 
  • Otway Greening - Australian Forests and Fire Regeneration: Fire adaptability in Forest Species.
  • Australian Museum: What is cultural burning? - This 11 minute video explains the practice of cultural burning and compares it to hazard reduction burning. 

Post-excursion tasks

Task 1. Your Local Environment - Processing Geographical Information

Can you find any trees at school or nearby which are the same species as those you identified at Brewongle? You might be able to use the Freeform file you created on your excursion to help identify plants. 

What can you do to reduce the risk of (mitigate) bushfire in your local area while managing natural habitat and biodiversity?

Task 2. Bushfire Disaster in Your Local Region - Communicating Geographical Information

Research a bushfire disaster in your local area (for example, the Gospers Mountain Bushfire of 2019/20) and make a creative presentation (poster, infographic, etc) including the following:

  1. Identify the location and extent of the bushfire
  2. Describe the impact of the disaster on natural vegetation
  3. Evaluate the damage caused to communities

Task 3. Your Future

How can people be more prepared if they live in bushfire prone areas? Design a project to teach your local community how to:

  • Identify bushfire risk, and
  • Prevent and minimise the effects of a bushfire

Wildlife Recovery

Wildlife recovery has been slow and while some species may never recover, others have shown incredible instinct (or luck) to survive fires. Wildlife rescuers and supporters have received funding to set up wildlife feed and water stations in bushfire affected areas. The YouTube videos identify a range of species utilising a wildlife feed and water station in Colo Heights after the Gospers Mountain Bushfire.

Watch the videos: