World Environment Day at MGC
It has been a huge week for the Environment team at MGC. The year 10 Environmental Science class conducted our first Biodiversity audit with the help of Greening Australia. The Sustainability collective, in conjunction with the Yarra city council and the Wurundjeri council, have started to plan our annual tree planting day (July 28th), which will also incorporate an indigenous cleansing of the earth and unveiling of our acknowledgement of country plaque for all visitors to see who pass along the Yarra bike trail. Our Environment captain, Emma Lewis and year 10 environment team member Amy Toomey represented the school and “Yarra youth” at the Yarra Environment Community Consultative Committee on June 3rd. Members of our student environment team attended the Melbourne Water Youth Environment conference at Etihad stadium and the Melbourne Zoo and staff members Andrew Vance, Jo Stackhouse and Janet Adler attended the inaugural World Environment Day awards at Fitzroy Town hall, where the school was recognised as a finalist in the Community Engagement category. We are extremely proud to be the only school to be nominated in the awards and received praise from Cr Jane Garret on the positive, proactive nature of our students, especially those involved in the Environment Team.
MGC staff and collective members survey the site for tree planting between the school and the Yarra bike trail. City of Yarra Habitat Officer Craig McGrath addresses the group about weed removal.
The results of the biodiversity audit revealed that our school grounds are in great shape and to improve habitat for native wildlife, we could consider installing more nesting boxes. The year 10 students learnt about the value of older hollow bearing native trees, but recognised the need for compromise to maintain a safe environment for both wildlife and people. We actually scored 100% for water friendly gardens thanks to the hard work conducted by Friends of the Gardens, Brett and Julie in mulching, installing dripper systems and creating porous walkways that prevent storm water from flowing too quickly into the Yarra and holding back soil erosion. A grant offered by CitiPower to students who presented at the Melbourne Water Youth Environment Conference will contribute to making our gardens even more water friendly in the future.
Jourdan Hickey awarding Melbourne Water’s Jamie Dwyer a “water point” in comedian Claire Hooper’s water smart city debate
The Melbourne Water Youth Environment Conference was attended by first timers Carmen Lynch, Gina Handby, Emma Sinclair, Jourdan Hickey, Ruby Willis and veteran presenters Phoebe Elterman, Melissa Arsov and Georgia Greenway. The students’ presentation to over 60 peers taught the audience that water smart cities are waste wise and involved interactive lessons on how saving energy, litter and resources can lead to healthier waterways. It was also an opportunity for the students to showcase our Congolese exchange student and reformed telecommunications criminal, Bollo Makemba (AKA Emma in a Gorilla suit) and our mobile phone recycling campaign. The conference was great fun, but as always, a fantastic learning experience. The students were excellent ambassadors for MGC and will feedback their new knowledge to the student environment team next semester. One particular member of staff was even filmed break dancing in the indigenous hip hop workshop that aired (thankfully) on rural TV news!
MGC students present their “Who is the most water smart greenie” debate in the style of Q and A at the MWYEC confernce
Students have also started bottling the 2010 vintage of our acclaimed “Worm Wee”, which will be available for purchase from the office to fund raise for environmental projects later in the year- at only $5 a bottle, why not buy two? Your plants will thank you!