Nurturing Our Community

The staff and students at Cire Community School Yarra Junction care about the environment, so they have decided to do something about it by becoming a ResourceSmart school.

So what does this actually mean?

Basically, it’s a program designed to improve the way we use our resources at Cire Community School and, through this program, we learn the benefits of being more sustainable. From students through to the teachers and even the wider community, changing the way we use our energy is necessary for our future.

Completion of the core module will initiate our journey as we discover our energy, water and waste usage. We will track our biodiversity, providing students with hands on approaches by learning different ways to come up with sustainable solutions.

Imagine the students creating a community garden space right here in our school grounds. They would be involved right from the start, from planning and design, constructing plant boxes, maintaining gardens and future development of the space. What an accomplishment it would be harvesting for the first time and knowing that all the produce was created in a sustainable environment. There is so much to gain from teaching these skills to our future generations.

So you can see it’s not just a singular idea. It is a comprehensive approach to improving the way our school runs and is a project that we can all get involved with.

As the program expands we hope that the wider community will also see the way our school is advancing towards a nurturing environmental future, also increasing the scope of future programs we can offer to those who really need it, our students.

As we travel along the path to gaining a 5 star energy efficient ResourceSmart school rating, Cire will naturally be more and more environmentally sustainable. We hope the changes create a positive impact on the way that we see sustainability and show the students that a little hard work and dedication can make a massive impact on tomorrow’s future.

We will be posting our progress of our journey to sustainability, so keep your eye out for future posts about what we have achieved and what is on the horizon.

If you would like get involved in creating this wonderful new environment or would like to find out more about our project, you can contact Bernadette Murray, Education Support Officer on 0449 295 344 or contact Cire Community School on 1300 835 235.

For further inforation on Cire Community School click here.


Creating Wildlife Habitat

Conservation of habitat is important to protect indigenous fauna and flora and help preserve biodiversity and endangered species. All too often humans impact on the habitats of local wildlife, either knowingly or in ignorance, with a detrimental effect on population, biodiversity and species. The Yarra Valley is fortunate to host myriad fauna species and here at Cire we take our obligation to preserve and protect wildlife seriously too. One of Cire’s core values is to protect the environment in which we live.

Recently the severe windy weather caused some concern on the safety of a few dead but standing messmate eucalypts at our Yarra Junction campus. The canopy weight of the trees was causing movement of the tree roots in the ground and causing them to lean and eventually fall; and large limbs were regularly dropping.

Did you know that it takes 200 plus years for natural hollows to form in dead trees? So with some ingenuity a group of environmentally conscious Cire members set about to see what could be done to preserve the trees as a habitat source rather than removing them in total.  It was decided to remove two thirds of the height, which entailed the bulk of the canopy and weight, to allow root stability and also create manmade habitat holes in the standing trunk butts.

Possums, bats and birds had all been seen regularly at the campus and the diminishing habitat was of concern. We brought in experienced tree climbers to remove the dead canopy and limbs which left tree butts approximately five metres high. The climbers were highly skilled and very adept in wielding chainsaws from great heights as well as creative in habitat design.

Trees were selected for access and proximity to other trees and vegetation as well as protection midst the stand of trees. This was to ensure that animals could move easily between trees, have a food source, be protected from predators as well as feel secure when at rest.

The results have proven early successes with a brushtail possum moving in within a week and a variety of parrots eagerly inspecting the man made hollows. The bat hollow is yet to show signs of occupation, but we are hopeful.

The extensive tree works was done by Arbortrim as a training exercise for students with newly acquired skills and resulted in great outcomes for our local animals and birds.

The accompanying photos show the skills of the arborists, the process to create the hollows and the end result. After the weighty canopy was removed and the tree butts were made safe, a slice of tree trunk was removed at an appropriate height, the hollow was created with a chainsaw and a cover plate screwed back over the hollow. Three habitat designs were created: one with a top entry, a side entry and a bottom entry – especially for bat habitation.

Cire is proud to care for our environment and consider all options in support and retention of bushland and preserving the natural habitat for our indigenous fauna.