First Lesson in the "Soil Classroom"

Text by (Gabriele & Jerko Malinar)

Official school start at station of the St. Peter Soil Walking Trail, which is conceived as a classroom.

The pupils of the St. Peter secondary school, class 3a, in the company of Dir.Erich Greiner and some teachers were welcome by the Landesrat of Education and Youth, Mag. Johann Heuras as well as Mayor Gerhard Wieser, and were tought in an exciting manner by Dr. Alex Dellantonio from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

„Soil is a precious commodity, a habitat, on the quality and functionality of which our life depends as well", explained Landesrat Heuras to the pupils, which clearly enjoyed participating in the first official lesson in the "open air classroom" despite of the rainy weather.

The walking trail bears the name „Fertile Land at the Coast of the Sea", because the foothills of the Alps composed the coast of the primal ocean called Thetys 60 million years ago. We gain more than 90 % of our food from this fertile layer of soil, which is on average only 50 cm thick.

Every plant growth is only rendered possible by micro-organisms, of which there are more in one gramm of earth (up to 100 billions) than people on Earth (6.5 billions). In the course of millions of years they have developed and are very sensitive ecologically, therefore they depend on our protection, stated Dr. Dellantonio.

The „soil classroom" station was already built last year by the Austrian Soil Science in cooperation with the Department of Rural Development as a part of a soil walking trail within the framework of the Provincial exhibition, but it has only now been dedicated to its intention.

It is situated at the rest stop beside the Hubertus Chapel with a panoramic sight on the Alps, the Danube valley and the Waldviertel granite plate. A seat arena and display boards facilitate resting from wandering for groups up to 30 persons, as well as an informative soil lesson.

Landesrat Heuras invites all teachers, for whom environmental education is important, to make an excursion to St. Peter and to hold a lesson in the soil classroom.

For further information about the initiative „Our soil - upon which we stand!", launched by Provincial Governor Landeshauptmann Erwin Proell, and about offers for schools and municipalities, please refer to, where also an information folder about the soil walking trail can be downloaded.



Association BIENE
(Boden- Bioenergie- und Nachhaltigkeits Netzwerk NÖ|EU)

Ing. Klemens Rybaczek
Braiten 5
A-3153 Eschenau

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