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School students help plant a greener future for Maroondah

Published on 05 August 2019
  • Children and young people
  • Community
  • Environment

Students from across Maroondah schools have swapped their school books for seedlings and connected with nature for Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day

Maroondah Mayor Cr Rob Steane joined children from Ainslie Parklands Primary School and Maroondah Pre-School on Friday 2 August to plant more than 400 new trees, shrubs and grasses.

Cr Steane said Council provided the trees and mulch, which allowed the students to plant and hopefully become future custodians of the trees.

“Each year, around 3,000 preschools, kindergartens, primary and high schools across Australia take part in the annual Schools Tree Day, held in July, which is a special National Tree Day event just for kids,” Cr Steane said.

Cr Steane said helping to plant trees gave the students a sense of pride and ownership, while teaching them about the importance of the environment and its future care.

“Schools Tree Day is a great opportunity to teach children from a young age how to care for and protect our natural environment. Students also learn about the important role nature plays in the life of our planet and why we must protect it,” he said.

With the help of Council’s Bushland team, students from Eastwood Primary School have also been busily planting 500 tubestock plants at nearby Wombolano Reserve in Ringwood East as part of the annual event.

This is the fifth consecutive year the school has been involved in Schools Tree Day planting activities to revegetate Wombolano Reserve, a 7.5-hectare park which is mostly covered by bushland.

The new plantings at Wombolano Reserve consist of upper storey trees (Eucalyptus), middle storey shrubs (Acacia sp, Coprosma, Olearia and Spyridium), and lower storey plants (Dianella, Goodenia and Lomandra), which were supplied by CRISP nursery, Ringwood.

Wombolano Reserve serves as an important habitat to a range of native fauna, including the Red Wattlebird, Powerful Owl, White striped freetail bat and common froglet.

The reserve is also home to a range of locally and regionally significant native flora such as the White Stringybark eucalyptus, which is rare outside Maroondah, as well as other natives including Elderberry Panax (Polyscias sambucifolia), Silver Banksia (Banksia marginate), Marsh Ground-fern (Hyolepis muellen), Upright Millfoil (Myriophyllum crispatum), Slender Sword-sedge (lepidosperma gunnii) and Joint-leaf Rush (juncus holoschoenus).

Maroondah’s Bushland team, with the help of CRISP nursery, have also supplied hundreds of plants to other local groups, including:

  • Maroondah Occasional Care - mixture of lower-storey species for planter boxes.
  • North Ringwood Pre-School – 100 shrubs to be given away at ‘Smoking Ceremony’ event at B.J. Hubbard Reserve, North Ringwood on Sunday 4 August.
  • Ringwood Uniting Church Kindergarten – 50 tubestock plants, grasses and flaxes to be planted at kinder, and 60 shrubs to be given to children.
  • Tarralla Kindergarten – 250 tubestock lower-storey shrubs (Correa, Dianella, Indigofera, Juncus, and grasses (Poa and Themeda) planted at Gracedale Park, East Ringwood.
  • EACH Ringwood community health services provider – 220 tubestock shrubs (Acacia, Olearia, Pomaderris, Spyridium, Correa and Indigofera) given away to children to mark National Tree Day.

Cr Steane said where possible, plant species were specifically chosen to reflect their indigenous link to the local Maroondah area.

“Maroondah is well known and loved for its lush green canopy and areas like Wombolano Reserve are a wonderful example of why it is so important to look after our local environment.

“By taking the time to maintain and create more native growth in Maroondah, we’re ensuring future generations can enjoy the same natural beauty that we have today,” he said.

Last year, over 200,000 people took part in National Tree Day events, planting more than 700,000 plants at over 3,000 locations around the country – equating to almost 25 million trees planted by almost five million volunteers since the initiative began in 1996.

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