Miami State High School has utilised the Yates Creative Gardening Grant to begin a school-based community project with wide-reaching environmental impacts. The school community feels strongly about protecting the dunes that are located 200m from the school. As such, the school worked with the wider community through the Gold Coast Beachcare to propagate and plant native plants on the dunes. The project created both a teaching garden for use in the study of dunes and helped to revegetate the local North Burleigh/South Nobbys foreshore.
The primary environmental benefit of the project is the contribution to the revegetation of the local dunes, while teaching the students new skills. Revegetating the dunes is vital to the prevention of erosion and habitat for native wildlife. The school has created a native nursery by re-fitting their run-down nursery to support the revegetation of these dunes. The re-fit of the nursery included the replacement of severely rusted shelves in the propagation tunnel, creating the perfect humid environment for growing beach-plant seeds and cuttings.
The grant kick-started recycling and sustainability projects at the school. A composting program at the school was begun to increase recycling and supplement the potting mix used to grow seedlings. The sprinkler system was either repaired or replaced throughout the greenhouse and propagation tunnel to ensure that the plants were getting adequate water- especially over the summer holiday period. This ensures the long-term sustainability of the project and reduced the water consumption when compared to hand watering.
The project has had a significant impact on the local community. The school has reduced its waste through the composting program, and has encouraged local business’ to participate. The school’s nursery has reduced the need for the local Beachcare group to buy plants and the school has helped to ensure the survival of the local dunes.
The project has successfully engaged the students in the horticulture program. The students have developed skills in nursery management were engaged with the hands-on curriculum. The students have developed a greater awareness of the environment and conservation while benefiting the community in a tangible way.
“This project is so important because it’s going to keep our beaches healthy by planting more plants such as spinifex, beach bean, goats foot and pig face just to name a few. We need to spread the word and help make our beaches a better place so they look nicer and are a healthier place.”
– Year 12 student.