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550 Local Students Participate In World Environment Day

Environmental Alliance helped hundreds of local students learn about local efforts to help the environment

By Carol McCormack - 11th June 2002 - Back to News

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The Bass Coast Environmental Alliance helped hundreds of local students learn about local efforts to help the environment on World Environment Day, Wednesday 5 June.

"We were delighted that more than 550 students participated in activities across the Shire on World Environment Day," said Derek Hibbert, Environment & Coastal Officer at Bass Coast Shire Council.

An Expo at the San Remo Recreation Centre included numerous displays and activities that focused on global and local environment issues.

It was the third year that the Expo has been held by the Environmental Alliance, which includes sixteen agencies and community groups involved in environmental management, education, appreciation and action.

Students participated in rockpool rambles and interpretive walks along the George Bass Walk. Primary students visited Wonthaggi Recyclers, while secondary students visited a reafforestation project in Archies Creek.

At Wonthaggi Recyclers, more than 220 primary students learned what happens to their recyclables after they are collected from the kerbside. The students saw the huge machine that is used to separate recyclables into paper, glass, plastic and steel. They learned how items are bundled and sent off to various places to be made into completely new products.

"The students were really interested to hear about what the goods they put in their recycling bins would be used for in the future," said Peter Roberts, Waste Management Officer with Bass Coast Shire Council. "One example that they were very interested to hear about is that plastic bottles are recycled into polar fleece for jackets."

"The aim of the tours was to show students the importance of recycling and how they can make a difference," said Peter.

Meanwhile, 11 students from Wonthaggi Secondary College visited the Archies Creek Reafforestation project. The Year 11 students were part of an environmental science class, and were accompanied by their teacher Catherine Tagg.

During the past ten years the Archies Creek Reafforestation Project group has planted more than 140,000 indigenous plants throughout the Archies Creek Catchment. The creeks and other tributaries of the area have been targetted for revegetation works. These activities have resulted in a substantial improvement in the quality of water through reduced soil erosion throughout the revegetated areas.

"The aim of the trip was to help students understand the human influences on the landscape," said Geoff Trease, Landcare Officer. "The Archies Creek Project is a terrific example because they were able to compare the surrounding cleared farmland to the areas that have been revegetated."

Paul Spiers, one of the driving forces behind the Archies Creek group, conducted the tour. Paul showed the students some typical farmland with unfenced creeks, gully erosion and landslips. He then showed them areas of farmland that had been revegetated with indigenous native plants.

"They were able to see the benefits of revegetation such as better water quality, soil stabilisation and habitat for native animals," said Geoff. "The students were interested to see the contrast between the two very different methods of land management."

Throughout the tour, the students were able to see first hand some of the practical issues they had been studying about and to see impact, humans have on the landscape.

"It was good for the students to see how a project like the Archies Creek Reafforestation project can involve different members of the community and have a positive impact now and into the future," said Geoff.

Derek thanked all the members of the Environmental Alliance, organisations and volunteers for their efforts in organising the many different activities.

"We’re looking forward to another successful World Environment Day in 2003," said Derek.


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