Students thriving in natural environment
Local wildlife is benefiting from a collaboration between Carinity Education Glendyne and Fraser Coast Regional Council.
As part of their environmental studies, students are caring for and rejuvenating a valuable nature strip on the school campus in Hervey Bay.
The Land for Wildlife program involves a team of 27 students working to rehabilitate a 1.1-hectare conservation area back to its natural state.
“The area provides hands-on experience opportunities for our students to participate in flora species identification and revegetation projects, fauna identification and native bee establishment,” supervising teacher and vocational education trainer Justin Burnham says.
The land area is protected from future development and is home to native animals and dozens of species of native grass, shrubs, vines and trees including paperbark, fig and Blue Gum.
“Students have identified wallaby access tracks, lizards, snakes and rodent activity on the site. There also appears to be a fox population coming and going from the site,” Justin says.
Carinity Education Glendyne signed up for the Land for Wildlife scheme after Fraser Coast Regional Council recognised the high value of remnant vegetation in the school’s conservation area.
“We commend Glendyne for their work to improve the important wildlife corridor which runs from Nikenbah through to Walligan,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour says.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our Land for Wildlife program to partner with Glendyne to protect natural areas on private land and give students hands-on experience as they rehabilitate degraded bushland.
“They will learn about assisted regeneration techniques and methods and the essential needs of wildlife and the best ways to conserve their habitat.”
The Land for Wildlife project is part of a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management vocational training course offered to Carinity Education Glendyne students.
A feature of the students’ work has been repurposing materials from old infrastructure to create features such as a “bee hotel”, as a way of encouraging biodiversity within the conservation area.
“Timber from an old obstacle course on the site has been repurposed for use on the solitary native bee structure. We have also reused coppers logs as borders for the walking path into the centre of the conservation area,” Justin says.
“Bird and possum boxes have been installed and we will have bird and bee watering devices coming shortly, to encourage native flora and fauna to repopulate the area.”
Cr Seymour says Fraser Coast Regional Council’s commitment to maintaining the area’s unique natural environment and lifestyle includes “setting ourselves a target of planting 100,000 trees by 2030”.
“We also encourage landowners to replant and rehabilitate their properties and are regularly expanding our network of reserves. All these efforts will ensure our region is a more attractive place to live and visit,” Cr Seymour says.