I-SWAMP recently hosted a successful seminar on Alpine wetlands, which drew the attention of teachers and educators dedicated to environmental conservation. The seminar, held at the Lucio Susmel Centre for Alpine Environment Studies (University of Padova – TESAF department), brought together more than 40 participants from preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools (some of them followed the event on Zoom), creating a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experiences.
The first part of the seminar provided a broad overview of wetlands in general, emphasising their importance and the crucial role they play in ecosystems. The organisers highlighted the specificity of Alpine wetlands, underlining the unique challenges and opportunities these habitats offer for biodiversity.
A key part of the event was the presentation of a booklet prepared in the context of the project. The booklet, called “Wetlands – in Nature with boots”, provided concrete examples of the topics discussed during the seminar and the activities can be proposed in schools. Every teacher present at the San Vito Center received a hard copy of the booklet, ensuring that the information can be easily conveyed to the students.
The following day, some of the participants had the opportunity to put into practice what they had learned during a visit to Pian dei Buoi plateau, in Lozzo di Cadore. Despite the late season, the participants were able to observe concrete examples of several wetlands, including wet meadows, peatlands, and a pond. They also had the chance to examine the flora that characterises these areas and address issues resulting from human activity, such as cattle trampling, eutrophication, and the drainage of peatlands.
During the visit, a food web game was organised, actively involving the teachers and allowing them to better understand the ecological dynamics of wetlands and how they can be taught to children.
The I-SWAMP project announced that classroom activities will begin soon, giving participants the opportunity to share their learning with students. Next week (October 25th), a similar seminar in German and Slovenian is planned, further expanding the scope and impact of this educational initiative.
This seminar has demonstrated how collaboration between teachers, educators, and research institutions is essential in promoting awareness and protection of Alpine wetlands and represents a significant step toward the conservation of these valuable ecosystems.