Northern Bay College students have planted over 250 indigenous plants at Point Impossible as part of a local environmental education program, benefiting both participants and the coast.
Northern Bay College students have been working on the site over the past three years as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program.
The most recent student group spent three weeks rehabilitating 1000sqm of coast with both the local environment and students enjoying the benefits, with observations of increased confidence and improved communication skills.
GORCC Education Activity Leader Peter Crowcroft, who works with several schools as part of the program, says the hands-on nature of the activities have more impact on teenagers than a lesson in the classroom normally would.
“The kids get a lot out of it – they begin to appreciate and understand the environment instead of taking it for granted,” he said.
Northern Bay Physical Education Teacher Shane Thompson said he believes more schools should incorporate the environment in to their curriculum.
“The knowledge that students gain will stay with them through to when they become adults and the positive messages will hopefully spread to their peers in years to come.
“It gives them something to take an interest in outside their usual environment and the element of community service looks great on their resume,” he said.
Over the past three years, Northern Bay College students have been working to revegetate the Point Impossible area with indigenous species such as the Olearia plant, which spreads by shooting off parachute-like seeds.
“The Olearia is a species we have used very successfully. In the right conditions it can rejuvenate the environment quickly and self sustainably,” he said.
The group has also enjoyed a variety of other activities ranging from studying organisms inhabiting the rocky shores to learning about the Barwon river estuary and its unique inhabitants.
Northern Bay College student Nicole Craig said she looks forward to the activities each week.
“It’s heaps of fun – I love being around a small group and getting to know people better,” she said.
Student James Griffiths says Coast Guardians days are more exciting than routine school days.
“I don’t like school because it’s boring but I love guardian days; I get to have fun and make friends.”
If you would like to see your school become more involved in the environment, why not join the Coast Guardians program?
To get involved or for more information regarding GORCC’s free environmental education programs, visit www.gorcc.com.au.