Since the end of last year, NGT has been steadily tinkering away on a small Coastcare Victoria community grant out Narrawong way in conjunction with Narrawong Primary School. The project aims to enhance the endangered and highly rare coastal Swamp Scrub to the south of East Street which lies a half-minute walk from the school.
Narrawong P.S. have been particularly proactive in helping to manage their patch over the past few years, with a previous (2009) Coastcare grant helping them to make a good start with revegetation plantings and installation of interpretive signage. Enter the current project (2014/15) which has allowed us to establish further plantings, while providing opportunities for the students to learn about wetlands and get their hands dirty with some on-site restoration!
Activities started with weed control around existing plants and a further planting of local provenance seedlings towards the end of 2014. In March, while the swamp was still quite dry, a local contractor resurfaced the overgrown signage area making it easier access and manage. At the same time, the school organised for a culvert and improved path to be installed to allow access to the swamp year-round for educational activities.
Over the last two weeks, NGT’s Lauren Kivisalu has run four education sessions across the two classes, covering how wetlands work, the plants and animals we find there, and how they help to provide clean water and habitat. A couple of home-made wetland models helped to demonstrate how wetlands filter water, minimise erosion and protect against flooding and were a hit with the students. The kids been really enthusiastic and surprisingly knowledgeable about wetland and coastal environments, so it’s been great to build on that!
This Wednesday, Lauren finished up the education sessions with a big planting day out at the swamp, with photos to come. Be sure to check out the progress for yourself next time you swing past Narrawong…
Jonathan and Lauren