A group of dedicated students have become official guardians of a patch of coast, working on a regular basis to protect a site near Anglesea.
Over the year the group has planted over 550 indigenous plants, cleared environmental weeds and undertaken dune erosion prevention works.
Class teacher Steven Robertson said prior to the program many of the students had had very limited experience with the natural environment but their progress and developing sense of environmental stewardship had been remarkable.
“The program has brought about something I haven’t seen with other volunteer programs – the students are now quite protective of their areas, they really care about it.
“It has given them a look at the importance of preserving and conserving what we’ve got,” Mr Robertson said.
GORCC Conservation Officer Georgie Beale said the students were performing important conservation works which was resulting in improvements to biodiversity and habitat.
“Removal of invasive species such as Coast Tea Tree and Polygala, and the planting of indigenous trees such as Moonah at Melba Crescent has allowed some natural regeneration.
“Slowly we will see the indigenous vegetation re-colonise and re-establish,” she said.
‘Coast Guardians’ has become an official subject at the school, forming part of an outdoor education program at the school.
“The program has become the cornerstone of our outdoor education program and all students taking part are going for their Duke of Edinborough Award,” said Mr. Robertson.