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Bass Coast Local News:
Big Plant, Big Success

Wonthaggi students and residents come out in force to help their environment

By Bass Coast Shire Council - 9th August 2001 - Back to News

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Big Plant 1

Students from St Joseph’s Primary School, Wonthaggi, were keen participants in the recent Wonthaggi Big Plant

Wonthaggi students and residents come out in force to help their environment in the second annual Wonthaggi Big Plant from Thursday 2 August to Sunday 5 August.

The planting days were a joint effort between the Cape Paterson Coastal Plains Landcare Group, Parks Victoria, Wonthaggi Rotary, the Wonthaggi Conservation Society, Bass Coast Shire Council and the Powlett Project. This year’s Big Plant built on the success of last year’s planting at Baxter’s Wetland.

Geoff Trease, Powlett Project Landcare Officer, explained that last Thursday and Friday (2 & 3 August) 600 primary school students from Wonthaggi and Dalyston took some time out from their studies to assist in the restoration of Baxters Wetland.

"Students planted trees, went on an environmental walk around the wetland and worked with the Bass Coast Artists Society to create wall hangings depicting images of nature," said Geoff.

"Through these activities, the children developed a greater understanding of this significant site in the Wonthaggi area and observed the way in which Parks Victoria and local enthusiasts work toward maintaining and improving the site," he said.

A large number of helpers including parents and volunteers also joined the young people at Baxters Wetland.

"Despite the driving rain and wild windy conditions on Sunday (5 August), around 80 people from around the Wonthaggi area donned their winter weather gear to be a part of the Big Plant," said Geoff. "While it was wet, windy and cold, everyone who took part still had a lot of fun."

Big Plant 2

Despite the rainy weather spirits were high during the Wonthaggi Big Plant on Sunday 5 August.

Geoff explained that more than 5,000 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses were planted from Thursday to Sunday. This adds to the similar numbers of plants established during last year’s Big Plant.

The Rotary Club of Wonthaggi provided lunch for Sunday’s hungry participants, which was greatly appreciated by everyone. Over 35 local clubs and organisations were involved in the event.

Beth Banks from the Big Plant organising committee praised the large number of people who had donated materials and time to ensure the activity ran smoothly.

"The local residents, traders and community groups who joined in on Sunday to enrich this large area adjoining the wetland are to be commended," said Beth.

Baxters Wetland is an area of Crown Land on the outskirts of Wonthaggi. It consists of areas of ancient sand dunes and low lying marsh areas, which are inundated during winter months. The extensive wetland area is a habitat for water birds.

"The area has been adopted by local community groups, schools and Landcare, who are all eager to participate in activities to improve the local environment at Baxters," said Geoff. "Extensive regeneration works are required to provide the link with the coastal vegetation and the existing bush around the Wonthaggi township".

Although the weather may be unpredictable, the mood and enthusiasm shown by the schools and local public has left organisers with no doubt that the future of the Wonthaggi Big Plant is very secure.


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