Bringing back the Butterflies
At Mark Oliphant College in South Australia, over 120 educators, families and community members have Embraced the Wild by attracting native butterflies back to their school.
Under the guidance of local Aboriginal elders of the Kaurna Nation, students and teachers began this project by learning together about native butterflies and their needs. This helped them to design a garden that would not only attract local butterfly species, but also provide food for their caterpillars.
The butterfly garden was hugely successful in bringing the community together and sharing knowledge about local native species. Importantly, the garden continues to benefit both butterflies and the community, by providing a beautiful new space for families to enjoy.
‘Our children live in a highly urbanised community, and through this connection to the natural world we aim to spark a love of the natural environment and promote a stronger sense of wellbeing in children.’
- Linda Rich, Mark Oliphant Head Teacher
Restoring Bush by Creating Understorey Habitats
In South Australia, Bellevue Heights Primary School has a wonderful leadership program which focuses on sustainability, student well-being and intercultural awareness. Under the guidance of their teacher Margot Bradley, Year 7 students have helped to restore a 600 m2 patch of local Greybox Grassy woodland. This habitat is listed as an ‘endangered ecological community’ under Australian federal law.
During working bees, student ‘Park Rangers’ helped to remove introduced weeds growing in the understorey, and to plant and mulch native shrubs in their place.
With help from the community and the guidance of the Friends of Shepherd’s Hill Recreation Park, students have contributed to restoring about a third of the understorey habitat! This has created a new wildlife corridor, helping a range of animals move between two wildlife refuges in the outer suburbs of Adelaide.
The school’s aim in future is to use the park as an outdoor teaching space for biology classes. They hope to create a quiet space for students to reflect, and even plan to install a pond for native frogs sometime soon.