Students to restore remnant native bushland

Some of the Umina school pupils with their landcare certificate

Umina Beach Public School students will undertake a bush regeneration project in a small area of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland adjacent to the school next year.

Deputy principal Mr Chad Tsakissiris said: “This small reserve is an important pocket of remnant native bushland and contains many species endemic to the area. “Presently the bush is filled with rubbish and weeds. ” He said students would work with the Umina Landcare group on weed removal and maintenance.

“Our students will learn about our unique local ecology and how we can preserve and protect it. “It will give them responsibility of a local place, build community pride and develop respect and protection of their own community, ” Mr Tsakissiris said.

“We will be working with Central Coast Council and our local groups to remove rubbish, weeds and plant local species. ” The projects was initiated by the school’s Environment Committee, which is made up of Year 6 students under the guidance of two teachers, Ms Sarah Fletcher and Ms Jessica Walters.

“The committee is a volunteer group of about 12 pupils and we are looking to grow that number, ” Mr Tsakissiris said. “They work within the school on environmental initiatives such as reminding teachers to turn off air conditioning when not in classrooms, collection of paper and cardboard for recycling and planting the vegetable garden, ” he said.

“Other pupils respond very well and have developed the habit of using the paper recycling bins in the classrooms and, overall, there is a greater environmental awareness. ” The bush regeneration project has received a grant under the Woolworths Junior Landcare program.

The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program offers grants of up to $1000 to help fund hands-on projects focusing on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices and enhancing native habitats.

SOURCE: Interview (Sue Murray), 18 Dec 2019 Chad Tsakissiris, Umina Beach Public School Media release, 2 Dec 2019 Claire Peters, Woolworths

This article appeared first in the Peninsula News print edition 485

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