Council partners schools to improve the environment

Cobar Public School students helped Cobar Shire Council staff with a revegetation program to help recondition a stormwater drain area. Photo contributed

A revegetation program involving Cobar’s school kids was undertaken last week to help recondition a local stormwater drain.

Cobar Shire Council’s noxious weeds officer Melissa Gunn and director of planning and environmental services Stephen Poulter have been engaging with local primary and high school students to show them the importance of revegetation and how plants can help assist local water ways.

The area targeted for revegetation was the storm drain area between the Cobar Public School and Ward Oval.

Ms Gunn explained that while it is not an ideal location to completely revegetate, it will help Cobar Shire Council to show the students what this particular program is about.

The program started in April this year when school students took part in a field day at the Newey Recreation Area.

As part of the field trip the students carried out water tests and learnt about water quality, noxious weeds and stormwater drainage.

The program carries on from what the students learnt at the last field day.

“We put down jute matting which will help keep some of the weeds down and give some cover for the plants so that not too much moisture evaporates,” Ms Gunn explained.

“Then the students planted the tube stock and put milk cartons and stakes down as well which will stop rabbits and birds eating the plants or tearing them apart.”

Ms Gunn explained that they planted mostly grasses.

She said no trees were to be planted in the area to avoid any leaf litter flowing into the storm water drain.

“We hope that it will create a new habitat for creatures such as skinks,” Ms Gunn said.

The 1,800 tube stocked plants have been sourced from a Sydney supplier who deals with revegetation projects.

The field day aims to teach students about the importance of water quality in the stormwater drains, and how the plants they have chosen will help filter the water and stop weeds growing and rubbish flowing down the drain.

Ms Gunn reports the Cobar Public School students in particular have very much embraced the program which has been funded as part of Environmental Trust funding that council gained for their Regional Water Quality program.