Fresh Air Kids – Term 2 | Week 6


Read about the adventures of the Fresh Air Kids from last term as the group gears up for another fun-filled term of outdoor exploration.

Fresh Air Kids is a group of local families that want their children to spend time in the great outdoors, learning through playing in nature.

A community partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Fresh Air Kids aims to encourage local coastal kids to grow up observing the environment in more detail than even most adults do.

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Date | 30.05.2017 – Planting a Forest at Soapy Rocks

On a beautiful finale to Autumn, the Fresh Air Kids planted a forest of indigenous trees at the site of the old Soapy Rocks landslip (more on that here).

It is important that we plant species that are native to this area, commonly referred to as indigenous species, instead of native to Australia, because some of the worst and most invasive weeds around here are Australian native plants from Western Australia, and even other areas of Victoria.

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Pete (centre) with the Fresh Air Kids helping to revegetate the cliff area at Soapy Rocks, Point Roadknight.

These include:

From Western Australia:

  • Cape Wattle (Paraserianthes lophantha)
  • The Bluebell Creeper (Billardiera heterophylla)
  • Bushy Yate (Eucalyptus lehmannii)

From other regions of Victoria:

  • The giant Honey Myrtle (Melaleuca armillaris)
  • Coastal Tea-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum)

To see these weeds and others in the area check out these great resources from the Surf Coast Shire and Jan Juc Coast Action’s Surf Coast Nature Search.

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The kids really got into the spirit of helping this little patch of land become a valuable home for animals once again. We planted:

  • Sheoak trees (Allocasuarina verticillata)
  • The indigenous Prickly Tea-tree (Leptospermum continentale)
  • Prickly Moses (Acacia verticillata)
  • Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolata).

Some of the plants were tagged with an identification mark, and their growth will be monitored in an ongoing manner for the next few years.

By doing this we are creating an opportunity for the Fresh Air Kid who planted them to look proudly at their plants and see how it is growing (as well as checking how it is growing from the Soapy’s lookout of course).

It’s great to think that as the kids grow up along this coast, the patch of bush they planted grows as well.

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The thirty or so plants that were placed in the ground at the lower Soapy’s site by the Fresh Air Kids were the first to go in of a much larger rehabilitation effort – they really started something!

A month on it is now a large scale revegetation site of about one thousand plants, with numerous school groups helping to rehabilitate this area. Watch this space as a forest is growing at Soapy’s and will be hardly recognisable from all the growth in a year’s time!

Until next time,

Possum Pete

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