In Term 3, 2019, we have been focusing on completing our Biodiversity module, and have been working towards achieving another star. We have had a change of Teachers leading our sustainability team and our Environmental Education Teacher Miss Dunstan has really enjoyed taking a closer look and learning about our environment with the students this term.
As part of our biodiversity module students in Grade 5 and 6 led the Grade 3 and 4 students in auditing our school environment to measure and collect data on trees, vegetation, under storey and native wildlife. As a fairly new school, only opening in 2017, our students were excited to see some of our understorey finally growing into trees. As part of this audit the students identified areas of our grounds that could use more ground cover and additional vegetation, this was passed on to our facility manager who has already taped off areas and planted new vegetation.
Over the coming years the recommendations documented in the SEMP will be looked at and implemented with the hope of an increase for the next Biodiversity Assessment.
Students were thrilled to see our wetland area being home to local wildlife including 3 frogs sunning themselves on our rock area. A disappointing sight while collecting audit data was the amount of debris and rubbish along our fence line, this has been blowing in to our wetland area from the playing fields under construction next door. Students have been very quick to remove this and regularly monitor this area for other hazards to our wildlife.
We have now ticked off an item from our Enviro wish list…. The purchase of raised garden planting boxes! YAY! Students in Grade 5 and 6 have taken on the role of maintaining these gardens and have already planted some delicious vegetables we are looking forward to harvesting later this year. Students have researched wicking beds and utilized this research to create low maintenance, and low watering garden beds. With wicking beds the water is absorbed from the roots up, getting the water where it is needed and no water waste.
Our Grade 6 students are continuing to work on their biodiversity action plan. In conjunction with the Turn the Tide program, through Philip Island Nature reserve, students have been targeting a plan to reduce landfill waste from entering our school grounds. At Barton we have a Zero Hero policy meaning any rubbish brought into our school in lunch boxes is taken home with students at the end of the day, this has seen very minimal rubbish brought to our school from the opening of our school. Unfortunately some parents have been continuing to fill our one rubbish bin with coffee cups. Students have been hard at work to campaign against disposable coffee cups in our yard and have been working with the café owner across the road from our school to encourage sustainable coffee drinking and BYO coffee cups. The café owner has now agreed to offer a 15% discount for reusable coffee cups.
The work we have done in term 3, and throughout the year will go towards the certification of our biodiversity star and our next focus will be completing our energy module, with that being our final star.
We are so excited to continue our sustainability journey!