Weed Wackers Regreen Black Creek

New Urban Youth Group

Reaching Out -

LLCI031-004

Weed Wackers Regreen Black Creek

New Urban Youth Group

The issue

It all started with a weed survey in February 2016, seventeen bright-eyed Year 8 Armidale High School students with a concern for the health of Black Creek, a main tributary to Armidale's Dumaresq Creek..

Black Creek has a range of land uses along its length – a school, live railway, housing development, bushland, art gallery, recreation and sporting grounds.  The section of Black Creek the students surveyed is officially known as Manna Gums Reserve, a protected zone for natural habitat and one that is a stepping stone to other reserves in the area.

Similar to other reserves, Manna Gums Reserve is no stranger to the march of environmental weeds that pose a major threat to biodiversity and riparian health, including Willow, Privet, Broom and Blackberry.

The solution

The Black Creek Bushcare Group (BC2), headed up by Armidale High School Agriculture teacher Rebecca Smith, and formally ratified with Southern New England Landcare in May 2016, developed an action plan with a mission to remove environmental weeds and replace them with native plants endemic to the area.

In addition, the group has followed the lead of a local volunteer Bushcare specialist, who has worked for many years raising awareness of the importance of maintaining and preserving our natural urban bushland.

The impact

At their first working bee on a sunny Tuesday in June 2016, BC2 successfully removed four truck and trailer loads of weeds with the help of New England Weeds Authority and the Armidale Tree Group as well as Armidale High School parents, friends and teachers.

With funding and resources from Landcare Australia and the One Tree Per Child program, BC2 have gone on to plan and prepare the site for a community planting of 500 trees in February 2017.

Their hard work and enthusiasm has been recognised at the 2016 Frog Dreaming event, at which BC2 members were invited to present their project to other schools within the region.

BC2 have also received 2000 trees from One Tree Per Child to plant with fellow students within the Armidale High School grounds.

Images

Key facts

  • 2500 trees planted.
  • Through networking and development of partnerships, most materials and plants were donated to the group.
  • Students are putting into practice what they learn in the classroom, engaging in team builing and mentoring their peers in the region.

Project Partners