26/11/2020 – 13:35

From seedling to salad, students at Coolum Beach Christian College are doing it all thanks to a Federal Government grant which helped them turn an “eyesore” into a visual – and edible – feast.

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien inspected the garden today which feeds students, native birds and insects alike.

“This is an amazing project and I was delighted to be able to contribute $10,000 from the Communities Environment Program to help Coolum Beach Christian College restore this rocky outcrop to its former glory as natural bushland.

“Incorporating edible gardens which bring the students into the natural environment and out of the classroom for real-life learning is a brilliant addition.”

Principal Terry Hornby said the project had really enhanced the students’ learning this year.

“There was a large tongue of land jutting out of the bush into the campus which was covered with rocks and no real growth at all and was a real eyesore,” Mr Hornby said.

“We had to do something about it and so we thought we’d make it into a lush learning environment for the students as well as a lush living environment for native animals and plants.

“The students had to submit the design for the area, so several classes sat down and walked over the land and did measurements.  So the first thing they did was learn how landscape design works,” Mr Hornby explained.

The rocky cliff-like terrain has now been cut into terraced steps, reinforced with granite blocks and planted out.

“The students did the research into the plants they wanted, they did the composting and all the planting, we’ve got about six garden beds there. Then the next level up we have started planting native trees to attract birds and insects, especially bees.”

There’s also plans for a turtle pond and yarning circle, but for now it’s all about the garden.

“They planted lots of veges and lettuce, things like that. They’ve gotten at least one crop, harvested those and taken them up to the kitchen, washed them, made lunch and ate them and they’ll keep doing that. 

“Once the gardens are more established we’re hoping to start doing surveys of native fauna coming into the area,” he said.

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