The Environment Group achieved a major milestone this month with completion of the first stage of their regeneration and rewilding program for the Rooftop Garden on the fourth floor of the CLI. The program is directed to the redevelopment of the garden by gradual replacement of exotic plant species with Victorian native species that will provide much needed habitat for Australian native bird and insect species. It is also hoped that the revitalised space will provide an attractive environment for participants engaged in events in the Cabinet and United Nations Rooms, a quiet retreat where students and staff can commune with nature, and perhaps a model for future redevelopment of other garden spaces around Carey.
A huge amount of planning, negotiation and organisation has been required to bring this project to fruition, as well as significant research. Selection of the plants considered a broad range of factors including their status as native species, low allergenic potential, tolerance of the conditions, growth rates and ultimate size, foliage and flowering characteristics and availability. The final selection included a range of bottlebrush, banksia, pigface, flax lily, paper and rock daisies. The students have done a magnificent job and worked extremely hard to ensure that planting could be completed in time to take advantage of spring rains and sunshine.
The students extend a huge thank you to the Principal, Jonathan Walter, and Deputy Principal, Kate Croft, for providing funding for this first stage of the project. They are also extremely grateful to the Property Manager, Mick Calder, and other maintenance staff, particularly Graham Harwood and Chris Butler, for their invaluable advice, logistical support and encouragement.
The Environment Group are looking to plan activities to secure further funding to extend the program. However, they also welcome donations of large pots, plants, potting mix and garden tools from Carey community members.
Julie Harris-Wetherbee, Program Leader – Experiential Learning and Sustainable Practices
Megan Armstrong, Environment Group Co-ordinator
Feature image: Charlie (Year 11) demonstrates procedures for transferring plants from pots to soil to Jamison, Diya, Luka, Gretel, Lily and Alice.