Almost 100 New Lambton pupils swapped their classrooms for the great outdoors last week to help sow the seeds for a bright environmental future.
The students from St Therese’s Primary School donned their gardening gloves to plant 2,000 native ferns, flowering shrubs and grasses beneath six 100-year-old fig trees at Lambton Park.
They then learnt about the importance of vegetation, fauna and water health during a biodiversity “treasure hunt” for bird nests and insects along Lambton Ker-rai Creek.
The children were also encouraged to get creative with a fun art activity highlighting sustainability and the value of nature-based solutions.
City of Newcastle (CN) councillor Dr Elizabeth Adamczyk said the outdoor classroom event would help create a sense of connection between the pupils and the environment in which they live.
“Council cares for a wonderful array of natural ecosystems, including 80km of creeks, 512 hectares of bushland and more than 113,000 street and park trees,” she explained.
“These natural assets help absorb and store carbon, provide food and shelter for native wildlife, and keep our air and water clean, while also making our city a cooler, more beautiful and pleasant place to live.
“Engaging students in such projects is a fantastic way to increase their knowledge and passion for the environment, leaving a legacy of expanding the urban forest and biodiversity in their local park that they can be proud of in years to come.”
During the past four years, CN has invested $7.8 million in caring for bushland, watercourse and wetland assets through the design and delivery of on-ground habitat restoration works and community engagement programs.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle was committed to investing in and caring for the diverse natural environment.
“In addition, we’ve devoted $6.3 million in street and park tree replacement planting, and growing the urban forest program,” she stated.
“The greening of our urban landscape has a positive impact on Newcastle and improves our community sense of wellbeing.”
City of Newcastle is dedicated to becoming an International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) City with Nature, recognising and enhancing the value of the natural surrounds.
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