Students step out of classroom

Local school students have worked with landscape management authorities to learn more about the Penola Park Swamp. The swamp was recently the site of a successful collaborative project between Timberlands Pacific, Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT) and Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation, with the assistance of Mount Gambier and Penola high schools.

Funding was provided through the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s 2020/21 Grassroots Grants program. Mount Gambier High School and Penola High School participated in various field trips that included flora and fauna identification (native and exotic species), understanding requirements of weed control, planting propagated native species, cultural learning and storytelling, seed collection and propagation, data collection and analysis, establishing photo monitoring points, and assessment of ecosystems and their role in the landscape.

Mount Gambier High School teacher Jess Magarey praised the project. “The Penola Park Swamp Project provided valuable experiences for our Year 8 HASS classes as they were able to take classroom learning and see how it translates into a real world context,” she said. “The students enjoyed all elements of the project and were able to contribute to the sustainability of the area through tree planting and other environmental activities.”

Timberlands Pacific tree crop manager Kelly Williamson said the project successful. “We plan on continuing the work the Penola Park Swamp project has been able to initiate, with an intention to not only maintain the improvements made at the site but hopefully expand on them,” she said.

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