School groups have been getting into the Landcare spirit over spring with a lot of activity around the Upper Lachlan Catchment.
In October, Jerrawa Creek Landcare Group partnered with Greening Australia, the Oolong Bush Fire Brigade and the Gunning Public School for a tree planting project at Barbour Park Gunning.
In three hours this team planted over 220 trees, shrubs and ground covers in and around the park area. The project aims to demonstrate the visual and environmental benefits that strategic plantings of Australian plants can bring to riverine landscapes such as Meadow Creek which flows through the park.
Jerrawa Creek Landcare Groups Secretary, Mr Bob Spiller, commended the hard work of the school children “I had been worried that the job would not be able to be completed before sunset. However, it was all done before lunch due in large part to the super efforts of the 16 kids” said Mr Spiller. There was also much praise for Greening Australia’s two organisers, Lori Gould and Jeni Delandre also brought the right skill set to the job. With a lot of experience in large scale landscape planting, “both Lori and Jeni have their own children so they had just the right mix of mild mannered mother, motivational manager and martinet to keep things on track” said Mr Spiller. “Good site preparation by the Upper Lachlan Shire Council’s Ted Alchin, Matt Bush and Mick Wilson played a big part in making the job so easy” said Mr Spiller
In November Roslyn Landcare and the Livestock and Health Protection Authority (LHPA) hosted a Schools Landcare Day Out with Laggan Public School and Crookwell Public School at a TSR in Roslyn.
The day included a talk about feral animals and why we need to control them by the LHPA who brought trailer load of stuffed feral animals including foxes, rabbits, goats and pigs.
Roslyn Landcare’s Mark Selmes gave the students a talk about the importance of biodiversity with an entertaining show with snakes, lizards, echidna’s, birds, raptors and gliders was positive about the children’s responses. “The kids seem to know it’s a good thing to plant trees, I just show them that everything is connected, and there is a reason why we are planting the trees.” Mr. Selmes said.
The dedicated Roslyn Landcarers, Eric Hurn, Kenneth Wheelwright and Len Johns gave the children a lesson in how to plant the trees.
Mr. Hurn was impressed by the enthusiasm of the children “Every child had a job, digging holes, making tree guards, planting the trees, putting on the guards and we managed to get 350 trees planted at the Roslyn TSR, it was a great effort.” Mr Hurn said
Later in the afternoon Mr. Selmes left the site and was replaced by a giant ‘pesky’ possum, much to the delight of the hardworking children.
Later in November Taralga Landcare and recreational co-operative organised an International Volunteers for Peace Schools day at Taralga which involved the Taralga Public School, Tambelin Independent School and International Volunteers for Peace.
The children got to plants trees with Vanessa Keyser from Hawkesbury Nepean Landcare, hear a talk on fauna from Roslyn Landcarer Mark Selmes, watch a presentation on weeds with Dale Chalker and play a game about habitat loss with Helen Ward. There was also another appearance of “pesky possum “which delighted both the children and International volunteers.
The day was part of a NRMA Insurance Community Grants Program – Grant Project: IVP (International Volunteers for Peace) Taralga Environmental Repair & Restoration.
There will be many more opportunities for school Landcare activities in the New Year. If you would like your school to get involved with Landcare you can contact your local Landcare support staff, Helen Ward 02 4828 6752 Helen.Ward@cma.nsw.gov.au or Mary Bonet 0459352892 firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit the Junior Landcare website for ideas about grants, forming groups and other fun activities http://www.juniorlandcare.com.