St Lawrence’s Central School
St Lawrence’s Central School, located near Coonabarabran in rural New South Wales, applied for a Coles Junior Landcare School Garden Grant in 2009 to help fund a native garden. They used their funding to purchase garden beds and sleepers.
The establishment of a native garden has fit in with numerous areas of the school curriculum. Year Four students engaged in the Science and Technology unit ‘Plants in Action’ and learnt about the lifecycle of plants. Year Three students learnt about ‘Our Australia’, where native flora and fauna were a major focus.
The project title, ‘Maruma-li thawun’ means ‘to fix, to mend earth’ in the local indigenous language. In Term Two, students studied HSIE units ‘Australia’ and ‘British Colonisation’, looking at the lifestyle of the first Australian, the Aboriginals. These units coincided with an indigenous language program, Gamilaraay, where students studied the language of the local Aboriginal people who lived in the Coonabarabran area prior to colonization.
Through this project the students learnt about the value of planting native water-wise plants, not only to help improve the school grounds, but to minimise the impact on Australia’s limited water supply.
The project has been endorsed by the local council, who made a horticulturalist available for assistance and advice. Plants were purchased from the NSW State Forest Nursey and the school’s groundskeeper has also greatly assisted with caring for and helping maintain the garden bed.
Matilda Clifton, a student, said: “I had so much fun getting out of the classroom and getting my hands dirty. I think the school is going to love the garden well into the future. When I walk past it, I think ‘Wow, I did that!’”