Students get the gardening bug

Kambrya College students plant trees at Akoonah Park, Berwick.

By Brendan Rees

Year 9 students of Berwick’s Kambrya College are nearing the completion of transforming a garden space at their school.

A group of 20 green-fingered students have been busy putting in drainage, paths, retaining walls and any other features that will support the garden.

They also sourced indigenous plants from their local native nursery to complete the project.

The school’s Year 9 engagement program Darrabi, which sees students participate in community service and learning hands-on skills, received a $4,500 grant thanks to the 2019 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant, supported by the Victorian Government’s Victorian Landcare Program.

This grant went towards regenerating a vacant lot next to a Later Years building which opened this year.

The school’s Darrabi Coordinator Sarah Hemphill said the project was a chance for disengaged students to feel a sense of achievement.

“Currently a mud trap and unappealing space, students doing this project will learn about the plants but also real-life skills for landscaping, horticulture, maths, English and design planning,” she said.

“Students have been working hard on the design process and researching local species to determine which will best suited”.

As part of the Darrabi program and with the support of a local Landcare group, students have also regenerated a waterway at Akoonah Park by planting close to 500 trees.

Kambrya College was one of 128 schools and youth organisations to receive a 2019 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant.

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