Students think local for national event


Torquay College students got their hands dirty last week for Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day, planting around 450 plants at Cosy Corner.

GORCC conservation worker Evan Francis with Torquay College student Indiana Colledge, helping to plant a Coastal Moonah Woodland as part of conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.
GORCC conservation worker Evan Francis with Torquay College student Indiana Colledge, helping to plant a Coastal Moonah Woodland as part of conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.

National Tree Day is Australia’s largest tree planting event.

Each year, over 200,000 people take part in activities held on 3000 sites and organised by council, schools, businesses, communities and Toyota Dealers across the country.

The day was run as part of a week of annual conservation activities organised by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre (MDC) in partnership with The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).

The annual coastal re-vegetation program has been run by the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre since 1986 and this year the activities were run in conjunction with the national Planet Ark event.

GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said the students planted native trees, shrubs and grasses.

“The children were planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland which is an endangered plant community in the area.

“Local families use this beautiful space and it’s great to get the local kids involved in their local community and environment,” she said.

Ms.Beale said the activity was a truly collaborative effort.

“The program also involved four land management groups, five community nurseries, BirdLife Australia and indigenous cultural education officers,” she said.

Participating in National Tree Day is just one of the many ways the community can get hands on in the protection of our local coast.

“Local environmental volunteer groups are always seeking new members and people able to lend them a hand – even for an hour or two,” said Ms. Beale.

Torquay College students (L-R) Jarrah Hirris-Moore, Joff Newton and Jay Newton enjoying their time on the coast planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland at Cosy Corner.
Torquay College students (L-R) Jarrah Hirris-Moore, Joff Newton and Jay Newton enjoying their time on the coast planting a Coastal Moonah Woodland at Cosy Corner.

For schools or groups, GORCC runs a free Environmental Education Program offering a range of hands-on and theory based learning activities and conservation volunteer work.

“Anyone with a love of the outdoors and a passion for the environment can take part in volunteering along the coast and start making a difference.

“You don’t have to be experienced or an expert, there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone no matter what age you are,” Ms Beale said.

For information on National Tree Day visit  www.treeday.planetark.org or call their hotline on 1300 885 000.  To learn more about GORCC’S Environmental Education Program or coastal volunteering opportunities, visit www.gorcc.com.au .

This story featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column on the 6th August 2013.

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