Students dig restoration

Alstonville High School and Bulwinkel Park Landcare share a boundary on Maguires Creek. They worked together to improve the Creeks riparian area.

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Students dig restoration

Alstonville High School and Bulwinkel Park Landcare share a boundary on Maguires Creek. They worked together to improve the Creeks riparian area.

The issue

Alstonville High School (AHS) borders Maguires creek on one side. It’s badly eroded and has been neglected for many years. Cattle from the school’s agricultural plot and the farm bordering the other side of the creek freely obtain their drinking water from here, causing damage to the riparian zone.

The project also links in as part of Bulwinkel Park Landcare’s Vegetation Restoration Plan, with the school sharing another boundary with the park.

Our objective was for AHS and Bulwinkel Park Landcare to work together in line with the Bulwinkel Park and Surrounding Reserves Alstonville Vegetation Restoration Plan (Envite 2015).

The solution

Richmond Landcare Inc (RLI) obtained funding from Ballina Shire Council (BSC) who owns the buffer land between the creek and the school.

RLI member, Bob Smith, volunteered to manage the project, donating many hours of time to work with students and Bulwinkel Landcare to improve the site. Bob undertook weed control and installed electric fencing to exclude cattle from the planting area.

BSC donated 500 plants/native trees from their nursery for students to plant in this area. A planting event was held with Alstonville High School (AHS) environment group, Teacher Keryn Akers, Bob Smith (RLI), Lyn Thomson (RLI), Mal Johnson (Bulwinkel Park Landcare) and a representative from Friends of Maranoa Little Scrub Landcare. Maranoa Retirement Village also shares a boundary with AHS.

This is a long term project and we will track its progress. A large tree planting event planned for March 2017 will bring awareness to the project.

The impact

Successes:

  • Funding support from Ballina Shire Council and the ongoing partnership formed between the AHS, BSC, RLI and adjoining Landcare groups
  • Enthusiasm of the school’s environmental groups students to be working with experienced landcarers
  • Commencement of project to improve Maguires Creek
  • Socially positive connection between the school and the retirement village, not only with this project but with other planned events. For example some students visiting the residents of the village and inviting the residents into the school for visits.

Images

 

Key facts

  • Outstanding community partnership
  • Weed eradication on initial tree planting site
  • Electric fencing to exclude cattle
  • Initial tree planting event
  • 15 participants

Project Partners