For many of the 20,000 school children that come through our gates each year, the experiences they take home with them will last a long time. For a lot of children, local and international, a game drive through Ol Pejeta will offer them their first encounters with elephants, rhinos and a whole host of other wildlife. To build on this experience, and try and get children more hands on with conservation and the environment, Ol Pejeta have introduced a ‘Conservation in Action’ programme.
Activities in the program include helping to move livestock bomas, so children can learn about grassland management, carrying out a fence inspection with the Sweetwaters team to learn about chimpanzees, or assisting in cleaning the Endangered Species Enclosure while learning more about the northern white rhinos. The latest activity to be added to this list is tree planting.
For a minimal fee, students can plant Acacia xanthophloea or Acacia dreplanobium seedlings in a designated elephant exclusion zone near the Rongai Gate. The seedlings, which are bought from local community tree nurseries, are trees indigenous to the area. Numbers of these trees are being greatly reduced by elephants and rhinos, who love the bark, but they are an important part of the ecosystem.
The tree planting programme launched on the 15th of May, with 60 students from Centennial College, Hillcrest School and Peponi School. A total of 10 trees were planted.