Biodiversity Case Study – Glen Katherine Primary School

Glen Katherine Primary School, in North Eltham, is situated close to parklands designated as integral to the Banyule Wildlife Corridor.  With this in mind Glen Katherine has worked hard to incorporate some indigenous and native wildlife areas to add to the local biodiversity in the area.

In the most southwestern corner of the school is the GK Gully. Once a dry, dusty arid area, in the past decade a lot of work has been put into making it a rich environment with mature trees, native grasses, indigenous shrubs and plants, a pond inhabited by frogs and vegetable patches. Designated pathways meander through the vegetation and bush litter – and it is a place that the school community enjoys coming to and being part of.

In recent years GK has incorporated worm farms and composting into their community and these are house in the gully area. The whole school now composts food scraps – with 4 compost bins in use – and it has become a natural part of daily school life. The three worm farms are also integral to the increasing awareness of the how we reuse and recycle in our school community and worm juice produced is proving to be great fertiliser around the school grounds and wider community.

Located next to the Science Room is the Recycling Centre, where paper, cardboard, plastic and compost bins are located. Sorting out recyclable products has also become a natural thing to do at GK and even the youngest of students can be found sorting out materials into the collection bins. Adjacent to the Science Room is also our Butterfly garden – a collection of native and indigenous flowering shrubs planted to encourage butterflies and other insects to the area.

Next to this is the latest addition to GK – our nesting box equipped with a built-in camera (donated by Latrobe University) and hooked up to a tv monitor inside the Science Room where students eagerly watch the inhabitants with bated breath! There is some debate over the identification of our first resident – either a noisy or indian miner, who has made a nest out of a mixture of bush litter and rubbish! This has led to some interesting discussions, not least of all being – do we have an obligation to get rid of a nest belonging to a foreign species of bird, if indeed an Indian miner?  In the interest of science, we have decided to watch it hatch its eggs and work on correct identification!

Glen Katherine is fortunate to have had Belinda Moody, the Banyule Environmental Officer come out to the school on several occasions and talk about local biodiversity and the wildlife corridor. She has also donated indigenous shrubs and flowers that students have planted around the school.

GK has been working very hard to improve their ecological footprint. In 2011 we hope to showcase our successes, demonstrating that even little acts can make a big difference in a school community.

By Glen Katherine Primary School|2017-11-06T17:58:21+10:00May 12th, 2013|0 Comments
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