National Tree Planting Day 2023 was the perfect fit recently for Cire Community School (CCS) to help “green” the Lilydale campus and provide students with hands-on experience to connect with revegetation projects and nature’s benefits.
It was fueled by a grant of $400 from Planet Ark for seedlings and the support of Candlebark Community Nursery and Yarra Valley Toyota, and Croydon Toyota, as well as the enthusiasm of students and staff. Toyota is a major sponsor of National Tree Planting Day, and the local dealerships provided Cire with hats, gloves and stakes.
Planet Ark’s National Tree Day has helped plant approximately 26 million trees, involving five million volunteers. About 300,000 volunteers took part in the 2023 event as well as tens of thousands of school students.
Cire’s focus was the Lilydale campus, given the need to soften and green the former used car sales and service yard. A native/indigenous garden was created and is one of several projects which have been awarded grants to improve the overall environment at Lilydale, including the recently installed turf and planter boxes. In addition, The Frenchams Group has donated indoor plants to the school, including for use at Lilydale.
Project lead, Nathalie Tesselaar-Marriott said the newly planted seedlings will help facilitate greater student connection with nature which in turn helps enhance student wellbeing and engagement in their learning, as well as increase the school’s biodiversity.
“Alongside other planting projects at Lilydale campus, it also helps educate students about indigenous and native species, bird and wildlife habitats, and also indigenous practices and plant uses”, Nathalie said.
Students at Lilydale prepared the garden bed and surrounding area so CCS’s Certificate II Horticulture VET group could plant trees and shrubs on 26 July for 2023 National Tree Planting Day and National Schools Tree Planting Day.
The Horticulture group comprising students from Lilydale, Mt Evelyn and Yarra junction campuses, will continue to be involved in the revegetation project to support several of their units, including “Plant trees and shrubs” and “Recognise” plants.
The following student comments capture some of the benefits of the project:
“It was great. It was nice to add a bit more green to the place.” – Kiki
“I liked Lilydale, it had really good classrooms, and everyone was really nice.” – Jake
“It was good, we did heaps of tree planting, and it was good to look around the place. I really liked it. We could go back and do more.” – Brady
Nathalie commended all students involved for their leadership in the project and also teamwork.
“The activity was a great learning experience relevant to many units of study. Work Health and Safety was a big one, and we had a site induction and toolbox meeting. Also, with other people working onsite, students could see first-hand how different trades can work together in a space.”
“A great thank you to Ido the bus driver who also supported the group on the day, and (learning assistant) Zac for ongoing support. It was an awesome day.”
Nathalie added that the Frenchams indoor plants will enable Horticulture students to learn more about their care and addressing pests, diseases or disorders.
It is clear that Cire Community School has made tremendous strides in its efforts to green the Lilydale campus. National Tree Planting Day 2023 was a huge success for everyone who participated in enviromental initiative. If you want to learn more about Cire Community School and it’s youth programs, click here.