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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Schools planting trees to save riverbanks

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Kate Washington MP, Hannah Rice Hayes, Dr Kristin den Exte Hon. Paul Scully MP, Janelle Saffin MP, Laura McLauchlan, Vanessa Ekins and Georgina Jones with students from Albert Park Public School. Photo supplied.

Six schools in the Lismore area six will plant about 6,000 trees creating links across the Wilsons River corridor in Lismore and Tucki Creek in Goonellabah.

The Wilsons River Landcare Group has been successful for the third time with NSW Environmental Trust funding receiving $100,000 over three years to work with the schools and coordinate the planting.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Wilsons River Landcare, Richmond Landcare Inc., Lismore City Council, Rous Water, EnviTE, a team of local bush regenerators.

The six schools involved in the project are Trinity Catholic College, Richmond River High School, Woodlawn College, St Carthage’s Primary and Albert Park Public and Kadina High School.

State MP for Page Janelle Saffin visited the site with Kate Washington Shadow Minister for the Environment and Paul Scully Shadow Minister for Natural Resources to help students from Albert Park Public to launch the project planting the first trees.

Landcare bringing the community together

Kate Washington MP, Paul Scully MP, Janelle Saffin MP  and Lismore Vanessa Ekins and students from Albert Park Public School planting the first trees on the riverbank in Lismore. Photo supplied.

Janelle Saffin said loves Landcare because it brings the community together to care for our landscapes and rivers, so important here in Lismore. ‘Students get to learn great skills, both theoretical and practical, in the stewardship of our precious environment.’

Project coordinator Georgine Jones said the project builds the capacity for schools to create outdoor living classrooms where students learn about ecology and the importance of biodiversity.

‘We run mini outdoor education field days with each school and are lucky enough to be able to draw upon the knowledge and expertise from a range of environmental educators including Landcare, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre, Friends of the Koala, North East Waste and Friends of Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, as well as experts from Southern Cross University.’

Linking the riverbank plantings

Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins emphasized the importance of the project for linking the riverbank plantings of Landcare, Lismore City Council and Rous Water. ‘It is wonderful to see years of work by schools and Landcare continue, the trees are growing with the students and we are connecting the gaps on our urban riverbanks. this shows hope for the future and what we can do with our own hands to make change in our community.’

The first tree planting and environmental education field day will be held next week at Albert Park Public School.

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  1. It is a pity there is no bush regeneration industry for any significant portion of the school kids to aspire to, except Indigenous kids.

    It is also a pity that both political parties involved here, Labor and the Greens, are completely uninterested in campaigning for a federal job guarantee to create this reality for our school kids to aspire to – even ignoring the desperate please of lots of young people from the Tomorrow Movement


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