Students and teachers at Kentucky Public School donned gum boots and gloves on Wednesday, November 24 to plant stage one of a large native planting adjacent to the school grounds.
Planting has begun in the old pine forest area which was originally planted by members of Harnham Landcare group many years ago as a potential income source for the school.
Having come of age, and because some of them had begun to fall over, the pines were recently felled.
The planting day was coordinated by members of the school P&C, who are also seasoned, second-generation members of Harnham Landcare Group.
Hamish Caddy, member of both the Kentucky Public School P&C and Harnham Landcare Group, said the area will be planted in a number of stages over the coming few years.
"We'd like to keep the area accessible by the kids for learning and play activities, and we intend to recreate the bike track the kids have used for many years among the new plantings," he said.
Kath Caddy said, "All the teachers at the school are one hundred per cent behind the project and it wouldn't be happening without their enthusiasm."
Mrs Kahla Chaffey, a teacher at the school, submitted a successful grant which paid for the trees.
One thousand seedlings were sourced from Chris and Maria Eveleigh at Kentucky Tree Nursery, and support was provided on the day by Southern New England Landcare team members, Struan Ferguson and Karen Zirkler.
"There is so much scope for learning activities in an area like this," said Struan.
"We'll help the school ensure there are koala food trees and species suitable for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater among the new plantings, and there's also scope for including some bush tucker species," she said.
A big vote of thanks is made to local community member Faye Lullham for providing a delicious morning tea on the day, to Janeen Robb from Armidale for volunteering her assistance, and to all the kids who got involved in creating a second Landcare legacy on the school grounds.
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