PLANTING DAY: Angus Haager, Nathan Ryall, Jaleel Fewquandie and Riley Lourigan join in.
PLANTING DAY: Angus Haager, Nathan Ryall, Jaleel Fewquandie and Riley Lourigan join in. Contributed

Native species chosen for site

COOLUM State High School was one of 4000 sites across Australia that participated in this year's Planet Ark National Tree Day.

The annual event aims to inspire Australians to actively care for the land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians.

Teacher Ben Scanlon said rather than just planting an array of Australian native plants, the students chose a more sustainable approach by seeking advice from Coolum Country's traditional custodian, Brent Miller, and the Coolum Community Native Nursery.

"Brent confirmed that the most sustainable approach would be to use plants that have historically thrived and supported populations in the region long before the birth of the high school," Mr Scanlon said.

"We learnt that the nursery uses the national parkland, adjacent to the school, for seed collection and rears infant plants that are native to Australia and specifically, the local area."

As part of the tree planting process, the students also learnt how to prepare the soil and transplant the infant plants from pots into the ground.

"To finish the day we fired up the clay oven in the permaculture garden and shared food with a yarn," Mr Scanlon said. "Learning and sharing knowledge at functions like our National Tree Day can be ceremonious and is a privilege to share the experience and knowledge."

Mr Scanlon said most of the plants were adapting to their new home very well, despite the unusually warmer, drier winter.

"After some heavy and regular watering, they have begun to reconnect with the soil components, anchoring themselves to the ground and seeking out nutrients, sun and water themselves," he said.

"By early next year we should be seeing and tasting the fruits of our labour."


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