Newmarket State School grade 4 environment program 

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Take 39 keen 9 and 10-year-old students undertaking environmental studies as part of their curriculum, 4 teachers, 10 SOWN and catchment volunteers and a bushland reserve with an abundance of natural interest, and the scene is set for a great day of learning and fun.

For the seventh year, in what has now become a tradition, on 21 October 2022 SOWN and Habitat Brisbane Three Mie Scrub – Quandong Bushcare group hosted year-four students for a morning of environmental discovery in Banks Street Bushland Reserve.

Students walked from the school, many visiting their local 37 hectare bushland reserve for the first time. They rotated through two activities.

Activity 1: Small group discovery walks, with students completing worksheets

Students investigated:

  • The history of the reserve
  • The good and bad effects of flooding and how plants adapt
  • Biodiversity of trees, with identification of  different leaves
  • Identifying some bird species by call
  • Noticing the different species of moths and butterflies about
  • How to  find koalas

Activity 2: Planting a new patch of vegetation at the top of the creek bank

Each year, the grade 4 students have extended the school planting ‘patches’ along the pathway. The aim is to give students the skills and confidence to plant by themselves in the future. Under close guidance, students learned:

  • How to plan the hole needed so that the plant roots can reach down
  • How to gently remove plants from the tubes
  • How deep to set the plants in the soil
  • How to protect plants from flood damage and turkey attack by placing a stake close to the plant on the upstream side

Many students had not dug a hole before, and they were delighted (but squirmed a bit) when they discovered worms, slugs and tiny snail shells. All the plantings were commendably good.

The morning was topped off by a delicious barbecue lunch prepared by Leo Lee. The students headed off on their walk back to school calling enthusiastic thanks to the adult helpers as they passed. One comment: “Thanks for an amazing experience.”

Thanks must go to everyone from SOWN and BCC who contributed both to the preparation for the event and on the day.

Newmarket State School students planting at Banks Street Reserve. PHOTO: Chris Galbraith

Students squirmed as BCC Creek Catchment Officer Brendan McIntyre caught a moth with his bare hands. PHOTO: Chris Galbraith