From carpark to conservation haven: Coast Guardians restore Whites Gap in Torquay

Last week Geelong Lutheran College Coast Guardians joined Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s Education team for a day of coastal education projects, highlighted by a celebration of six years rehabilitating Whites Gap in Torquay.

Great Ocean Road Coast Education Leader Hilary Bouma said the school “started working at Whites Gap six years ago when it was a car park. Now it is developing in to some fantastic coastal habitat for animals and plants.”

“It’s a great credit to the students that a number of birds are already attracted to the dune site including Superb Blue Wrens, Grey Shrike Thrush, Fantails, Singing Honeyeaters, and also reptiles such as the Jacky Dragon have been seen at the site.”

Geelong Lutheran College Principal Barry Krueger said: “We’re very proud of all the Geelong Lutheran College students who have helped to rehabilitate this site as part of the Coast Guardians Program.  It’s a great accomplishment and something each of them can look back on proudly, and hopefully share with their friends and family for years to come when they visit the site in Torquay.”

The students then travelled to Point Roadknight in Anglesea, where Great Ocean Road Coast’s Possum Pete and Hilary took the students to see Hooded Plover nests, discovering three new eggs.  The day culminated with a trip to North Lorne for an afternoon learning about habitat, coastal management and hands-on weeding with Great Ocean Road Coast’s Conservation Team.

Hilary Bouma thanked the school for their ongoing efforts to help manage the coast.

“We truly appreciate Geelong Lutheran College’s involvement in the Coast Guardians Program every year and is set to increase next year with another year 9 class due to attend.”

Coast Guardians is the Great Ocean Road Coast’s flagship environmental education program, tailored towards year 9 students protecting the coast. It is an ongoing program though which schools participate throughout the year on one particular site to help foster ownership and enhance their understanding of the location.

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