Students help improve biodiversity

Melbourne Girls College biodiversity winnersMelbourne Girls’ College (MGC) increased its Landlearn Biodiversity Habitat Assessment Score by 38 per cent and achieved a total score of 76 in June 2013.

Students took ownership of a number of biodiversity projects throughout the year which helped improve their understanding.

“The frog bog at MGC gives greater insight and knowledge to students about the importance of biodiversity and habitat protection. Helping plan and construct the frog bog made me feel as though I was helping to play a part in restoring the local and natural ecosystem,” – Student 

“Participating in the Biodiversity audit in school showed me the importance of protecting and increasing the habitat and Biodiversity of the school and surrounding areas,” – Student

Challenges

The school’s biodiversity projects have encountered physical and biological challenges. As it was a former landfill site, the school has had to decontaminate the soil. The school community has worked hard to establish natural conditions for new plants, with a hope they willl become self sufficient over time. 

Actions 

Several key actions helped increase the school’s Landlearn Biodiversity Habitat Assessment Score: 

  • the student environment team assisted by the MGC Sustainability Collective (a group of students, staff, parents and friends) researched the pre-European biodiversity of the school’s local environment and engaged several community organisations to try and re-establish a more natural environment
  • the school installed a frog bog, with deep and shallow water sections, to divert excess water from tanks away from the stormwater system to filter it through the environment before returning it to the Yarra River
  • Year 10 Environmental Issues and Action classes led a project to fundraise money for plants to develop a small forest that links the school to the Yarra River habitat corridor. Students raised community support for the project, which involved several working bees and the installation of rainbow lorikeet boxes and microbat tubes.

ResourceSmart Biodiversity School of the Year 2013 category sponsored by:

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