Blue Mountains News

Megalong Students Named Young Landcare Leaders

Source: Greater Sydney Local Land Services
Archived 3 Nov 2019 - Posted: 5 Sep 2019
Principal Stephanie Scott with the students and Vanessa Keyzer
SAVING a critically endangered species is not generally written into a primary school’s curriculum, but the students from Megalong Public School made it their mission anyway.

The primary school kids were compelled into action after hearing about the plight of the Megalong Valley bottlebrush, a critically endangered flower species which is only found within a 10km range of their school.
School principal Stephanie Scott said the children worked with the Birraban Buschare group, local Aboriginal leader David King and the Guulong Landcare group to launch a seed propagation project which incorporated traditional Aboriginal practices and learnings.
“They procured seeds from private lands across the Valley and grew them at the school, sharing the story with the broader community to help spread the word of the importance of this special species,” she said.
The young green thumbs didn’t stop there, creating a short film on the project and the significance of the species.
“The students all contributed to the film, shooting, editing and developing their own work to create a highly engaging piece of media.”
Their incredible efforts where recently recognised when they were named winners of the Junior category at the 2019 Greater Sydney Local Land Services Landcare Bushcare Forum.
Greater Sydney Land Services Manager Vanessa Keyzer said the work of the children to not only save the species but engage with the broader community was exceptional.
“They highlighted the plight of these unique species while emphasising its significance to the local Aboriginal community and created a film that is now a fabulous educational resource,” she said.
Ms Scott said the project gave the students a deep understanding of the value of habitat and food webs and the importance of biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
“This has been extended throughout the school with improved recycling and waste management practices as well as a new composting system.”
A bush tucker garden is also being established in the school grounds with plants from Muru Mittigar Native Nursery as well as a vegie patch and worm bath farm.
Ms Keyzer said the children were hugely deserving of recognition.
“We grownups could learn a thing of two from these young people,” she said.
Ms Scott said the budding film makers also continued to create movies highlighting the other unique flora and fauna native to the Megalong Valley.
“The award win reinforces to the students the value and importance of this work and has given them a wonderful sense of pride,” she said.

 
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