Year 5 students at Umina Beach Public School are taking part in a Bushcare project that focuses on teaching them about Umina woodland, ecology, and caring for the native bushland in the area.
The idea came about from the Umina Beach Public School P&C after they noticed the bushland adjoined to the school was overgrown and full of rubbish and weeds.
P&C member Penny Jope said families had come together to remove rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day, March 7, in preparation for the Year 5 Bushcare project.
“The area was just full of rubbish and was looking generally uncared for, so we thought it had the potential for a junior landcare or bushcare program to help educate our kids about unique local ecology,” Jope said.
She said they received funding from Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, as part of the Communities Environment Program and funding from the Woolworths Junior Land Care grant.
“This funding enabled us to buy hand tools, gloves and equipment,” Jope said.
“We also had a lovely donation of equipment from Bunnings Umina and have also been able to fund a Bush Regeneration Supervisor who has worked with us to design a weekly program for the kids.
“We just had our second session, and it was all about looking at different animal habitats in the area; we were lucky enough to come across a Blue Tongue Lizard, so it was orchestrated by nature!”
Jope said they had great feedback from the students who will attend the Bushcare project sessions for the next four weeks.
“Once the weed removal is completed, we will move onto tree planting, so the students will learn about planting local natives to help kick start regeneration,” she said.
“The students already see the impacts of the work they have done, last week and this week’s work has been really noticeable, and they are so proud of themselves and the piles of weeds they have removed.”