Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Reserve the focus of sustainabi­lity project

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Students at Edward Public School are being given the chance to get a hands on learning experience through the ongoing Blake Botanical Reserve environmen­tal project.

Year 6 students recently visited the scrubland park, located directly opposite the school in west Deniliquin, where they were guided by experts in the lagoon environmen­t. The project was made possible thanks to a $15,000 Sustainabl­e Schools grant, which encourages schools to learn about their local environmen­t.

Principal Rhonda Blacker says the staff and students are invested in the program.

‘‘Edward’s Year 6 students are very excited to be part of the initiative,’’ she said.

‘‘Year 6 teacher Kristy Tremble is working closely with Greg Danckert, representi­ng Petaurus Education Group, on its implementa­tion.

‘‘The Blake Botanical Reserve is a great environmen­t for students to consolidat­e their learning in many key areas.’’

To understand the reserve and its purposes, the students participat­ed in a walk along much of the Deniliquin Lagoons system, starting at the reserve and going to the Waring Gardens.

‘‘Students were able to inspect nets to see some of the different fish species that have been released in to the lagoon system,’’ Mrs Blacker said.

‘‘They enjoyed exploring the environmen­t around the lagoons and drawing maps of them.

‘‘Sally Ann Dillon, one of the founding volunteers of the Blake Botanical Reserve, gave students a detailed history of the reserve and the more recent history of revitalisi­ng the area.

‘‘Dale McNeil is heavily involved in the program and has talked to the students about the area discussing the vegetation, the lagoon system, and the history of our area and how it has affected our environmen­t.

‘‘Josh Campbell from Murray Local Land Services gave students a talk on the history of the restoratio­n of the lagoons along with showing before photos to compare today’s lagoons and Tracey Hamilton from Yarkuwa gave an interestin­g talk about how plants could be used for many different things from medicines, bathing and making tea.’’

Mrs Blacker said the students were then invited to help with the revegetati­on process, under the guidance of landcare officer Erika Heffer.

‘‘Erika organised a donation of 50 trees and shrubs for the Year 6 students to plant for National School Tree Planting Day.

‘‘They enjoyed digging, planting and putting guards around their plants.’’

As the project continues, students will be looking at water quality, observing the birds that call Blake Botanical Reserve home, completing fauna surveys and plant propagatio­n.

The project will run over 10 weeks during term three, and may continue in term four..

 ??  ?? Savannah Emery examines a water sample flanked by her peers.
Savannah Emery examines a water sample flanked by her peers.

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