Wolvi Wildlife Garden project
||Wolvi Wildlife Garden|
|School||Wolvi State School|
||$1,000 (ex GST)|
|Year/Round||2011 Round 1|
Engaging the whole school community the Wolvi Wildlife Garden project was funded by the Coles Junior Landcare Garden Grant and has enabled students to establish and maintain wildlife gardens through mulching, planting, watering, monitoring, weeding, pruning, and creation of identification and information tags.
The project provides a ‘hands on’ opportunity to learn about values associated with native plants, especially the creation of habitat and corridors for fauna movement. Students helped to research and create plant tags that identify the common and scientific names of plants, useful properties, habitat and fauna feeding properties and indigenous uses. The tags are printed on water proof paper and are colourful, with graphic information that is easily understood and of interest to the students. Students intend to monitor the progress of the gardens and the presence of wildlife. This project has built upon their existing interest in the environment, and past projects and facilities within the school including a butterfly breeding house, a native plant butterfly garden, plant propagation nursery, hardwood timber plot and several strategically located nesting boxes around the school grounds.
This project has direct links with the school’s curriculum by incorporating the growing of native plant vegetation into the schools’ science curriculum plan under the “Life and Living” strand. Students at Wolvi State School study enquiry based science units of work using the Primary Connections program. In this program there are numerous units that require students to actively observe and record native vegetation growth. Wolvi State school students have been able to link real life native vegetation with scientific theories on plant growth.
150 native plants were planted in the most visible areas of the school grounds along with extensive mulching of the schools gardens, resulting in a reduction of weeding and watering requirements. This has resulted in raising the awareness of the values of native vegetation to students, teachers, parents and community members in the Wolvi area. Project participants have been able to learn the following: natives are suited to the conditions of the local area (soil, climate) and should require less ongoing maintenance than exotics, plants and animals co-exist and rely upon each other for survival, plants can provide habitat and food for animals and mulching discourages weeds and retains water.
The whole community was involved with creating the Wolvi Wildlife Garden, the Gympie and District Landcare/ Tin Can Bay Community City Farm Nursery grew and selected the plants, the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee gave information and expert advice, students, teachers, parents and local residents all helped with site preparation, planting, weeding and support with ongoing maintenance, the department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) gave expert advice and Gympie Coles provided a welcome kit with gloves, hose, watering can, drinks, snacks and seeds.
“The Wolvi Wildlife Garden was a fun way to learn about the animals in our community – what they eat and where they live – at school!” (Hayden Collins, 8 years)