Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School (IGGS) staff and students have come together to plant 250 trees in less than an hour, rehabilitating an existing site and providing habitats for local fauna.
Initiated by the School’s environmental group, Grammar Greenies, the project was made possible through Planet Ark’s seedling bank. The seedling bank provides school and community groups with financial grants to help get seedlings in the ground and restore Australia’s native landscape.
IGGS Service Captain and Grammar Greenies member Rhian McDonnell was involved in the planning process and in the planting.
“The Grammar Greenies are always finding ways to improve our natural environment here at IGGS in an effort to do our bit against climate change,” Rhian said. “This particular project aims to reinforce our bond as students with our natural environment and install more of nature’s most efficient carbon catchers – trees!”
Deliberate plant choices were made to ensure the area would provide food and shelter to native fauna and bind the bank to minimise erosion.
Ms Heather Booy, a teacher at IGGS, helped secure the funding. She said the site’s existing landscaping was not working.
“The site is shaded and used to just be lawn, but managing weeds was a significant issue,” Ms Booy said. “The area is highly visible to the community as it is right on our front fence line. We hope to inspire others to move away from exotic and invasive plant species that provide little environmental benefit, to native species that suit the fauna and local environment.”
The tree planting project is just one initiative the Grammar Greenies is working on this year.
“We encourage all students at IGGS to behave in ways that are environmentally friendly and to reduce waste output. We also hold events such as clothes swaps and beeswax wrap making workshops to give students the resources they need to be ecofriendly,” Rhian said.
As well as individual actions, the Grammar Greenies work to make change at a whole of School level. “We have consulted with the School grounds staff and have found the most wasted product at IGGS is still paper. To combat this the Grammar Greenies have introduced paper waste bins and stationery waste bins in several classrooms and communal study areas,” Rhian said. “We are also working with the tuckshop to trial a more environmentally friendly packaging solution, and working with the Home Economics team to re-establish our herb garden in a way that will benefit Home Economics classes.”
The IGGS community is looking forward to watching the growth and development of the new trees, and welcome the natural addition to the local streetscape.