The Mount Sylvia school community banded together and planted 500 trees within 90 minutes on the school grounds in early September.
Students, parents and volunteers planted and watered 500 native tree species as part of a year-long project to reduce erosion and sediment pollution entering a creek bordering the school grounds.
The tree planting day was funded as part of Seqwater’s Water for Life community grants program. The year-long project is a joint initiative between Mount Sylvia State School and Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc, with support from Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Healthy Land and Water and Seqwater.
Students from Mount Sylvia State School will be involved in the ongoing care and maintenance of the newly planted trees with rostered duties including mulching, installing tree guards and watering.
As part of the Riparian Restoration Project, students will also monitor and document the growth of the species as a form of interactive learning. The method is designed to get students out of the classroom and into the outdoors where they can witness the benefits of creek revegetation first-hand.
The initiative also introduces children to the effects of extreme weather events and flooding. As students who primarily live on rural properties, the aim is to teach students the importance of caring for riverbanks and the benefits of riparian vegetation to the overall health of catchments. The hope is that students will take the knowledge home and share it with relatives which could potentially influence riverbank management on private land. They will also learn how revegetated riverbanks can affect downstream catchments.
The school is situated in the Lockyer Valley where its waterways flow into the Bremer River. The Lockyer Valley is well known for being susceptible to flooding and the region sustained catastrophic damage as a result of major flooding events in 2011, 2013 and 2017.
The planting of vegetation on riverbanks helps stabilise the soil and builds resilience into the riverbank so it can withstand potential damage caused by floodwater. Resilient riverbanks ensure less sediment flows into waterways and reduces instances of pollution downstream. Stabilised riverbanks with strong riparian vegetation are healthy for resilient catchments.