Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rainforest Gully Garden

The school recently turned an unused and weed-infested slope at the rear of the school into a Rainforest Gully Garden featuring local provenance plants, bush tucker and plants found in rainforest gullies in the Sydney region. The aim was to increase the amenity and biodiversity of the school grounds providing an enriched and educational experience for pupils living in a highly urbanised area.

We added a number of enhancements to the project:

(a) a path was constructed through the garden providing access for students;

(b) rainwater was diverted from a nearby down pipe into a swale at the top of the slope, allowing it to infiltrate through the site, both improving conditions for the plants, and reducing stormwater run-off to the Cooks River; and

(c) we consulted with Carol Green, the Local Aboriginal Educational Consultant, and the school’s Koori community in relation to incorporating Indigenous stories and knowledge into the garden.

Once the initial planted area is consolidated, we plan to extend the garden on both sides along the slope. We are considering adding some birdbaths to attract fauna. We are also interested in adding artworks and educational features.