Hands-on environmental education

Millicent High School students will use cut and swab techniques to remove weed plants and small self-sown wild pines located along the slopes of the saddle in the Crater Lakes precinct in the coming weeks.

Eight students involved in the Conservation and Land Management Pathways program will use the hands-on training under the guidance of Mount Gambier City Council Valley Lakes Conservation Park Coordinator Orazio Cultreri to complete the weeds and chemical handling component of the course.

“The focus of this program is to develop the student’s awareness of the environment, flora and fauna, soil and weeds and Work Health and Safety,” he said. “Given the majority of the weeds in the area are woody shrubs, the students will apply the cut and swab method of weed control using hand saws.”

Students will learn the importance of controlling feral weeds to protect the natural vegetation within the Crater Lakes. “Controlling weeds around the conservation area is very important so it does not impact on the ecology of the conservation park,” Mr Cultreri said.

“The weeds compete for light, water and soil nutrition and the woody weed plants/shrubs may impact on nesting behaviour of our native birds and impact food sources for our native animal.”

The council received more than $30,000 in funds through the inaugural Limestone Coast Landscape Board Grassroots Grants 2020/2021 program to undertake weed control measures in the vicinity of the Crater Lakes area in line with the Crater Lakes Conservation Management Plan.

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