Dominica in the West Indies is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Dominica’s World Heritage Sites: Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
Who doesn’t like volcanoes and boiling lakes?
A rugged mountain range featuring steep volcanoes and deep canyons forms the natural spine of Dominica, a volcanic island of the Lesser Antilles. Morne Trois Pitons National Park (MTPNP) protects a scenically striking part in the central and southern highlands with an extension of 6,857 hectares, roughly 9 percent of the country’s land area. The centerpiece is Morne Trois Pitons, one of five live volcanic centers within the park. Above 1,300 m.a.s.l., this spectacular dome complex is the highest peak within the property. The park’s landscape is dominated by the extreme relief covered by various types of tropical forest against the dramatic backdrop of diverse volcanic topography and features. The scenic beauty is further complemented by numerous natural lakes and pools, including Boeri Lake and Freshwater Lake, the country’s largest lakes. Countless rivers and creeks originate in MTPNP, often forming magnificent waterfalls on their way towards the ocean.
Within MTPNP there are massive volcanic piles surrounded by precipitous glacis slopes and soufrieres, in particular the Grand Soufriere or Valley of Desolation. In this large amphitheater-like area surrounded by mountains, the volcanic activity is displayed in the form of streams of various colors interspersed with fumaroles and hot springs, bubbling mud ponds and the aptly named Boiling Lake. The latter is a massive hot spring with a water temperature of about 95°C. Surrounded by steep cliffs, the lake is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It constantly bubbles and churns, with steam emitting an almost surreal sound. Water level and coloration vary greatly.
The barren vegetation in the Valley of Desolation contrasts sharply with the lush vegetation dominating the landscape elsewhere. The rugged and abrupt relief results in a highly varied mosaic of vegetation and habitats. At least five forest types can be distinguished, including rare Elfin or cloud forest at the highest elevations. Overall, the forests are in a remarkably good conservation state within a region that has otherwise lost most of its historic forest cover. (World Heritage Centre #814)
You can find a gallery of additional photos of Morne Trois Pitons National Park on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected by their home countries and recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than a thousand such sites have been designated in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre’s website and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures have you and your students explored in your homeschool this Cygnus Term? 😊
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool Geography posts featuring cultural and natural sites of international importance. Print your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌐
❡ Print this little lesson: Down at the bottom of this post you’ll find a special “Print” button that will let you create a neat and easy-to-read copy of this little lesson, and it will even let you edit and delete sections you don’t want or need (such as individual images or footnotes). Give it a try today! 🖨
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has a lengthy section with detailed profiles of all the nations of the world; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia has a comprehensive collection of national histories in an appendix; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇩🇲
❡ Homeschool calendars: We have a whole collection of free, printable, educational homeschool calendars and planners available on our main River Houses calendar page. They will help you create a light and easy structure for your homeschool year. Give them a try today! 🗓
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