The Environment Sub-committee of the Kenmore State High School P&C Association, established in March 1998, works to an environment that is both beautiful and practical for members of Kenmore State High School.

Initially, the Committee focused on projects within the school, providing shade cover through planting trees. However, the focus has shifted to the restoration of the banks of Moggill Creek and McKay Brook. Since the first restorative working bee in 2000, regular working bees have revegetated various areas fringing these banks. This has been achieved through the generous efforts and funding of volunteer groups such as Brisbane City Council (through the Land for Wildlife Program), Moggill Creek Catchment Group, Conservation Volunteers Australia, ANZ Staff Foundation, Green Corps and groups of international student volunteers.

In the past year, the C Committee has installed a native beehive and nesting boxes, and has successfully planted 900 native plants. These achievements have assured the positive impacts of their work in re- establishing and supporting native ecosystems.

These achievements, however, have not come without their share of challenges. Periods of extreme weather have stressed plantings, necessitating more regular watering. Progress has also been slowed by dwindling numbers of student volunteers. Additionally, overwhelming amounts of weeds and flood debris, much of which remains un-cleared, has provided a daunting challenge. Nevertheless, for the remainder of 2016 and beyond, the Committee aims to reinforce ecosystems along Moggill Creek and McKay Brook to the point of self-sustenance. The goal requires increased student support, preferably encouraging every student to participate in at least one working bee during their time at Kenmore State High School. In my experience, as a student, the sense of achievement and community as well as skills gained from such an experience are certainly worthwhile.

An image of Georgie and Charlotte standing on flood debris
Kenmore State High School students, Charlotte and Georgie, stand on flood debris in the Moggill Creek forest.

Despite setbacks, the environment has begun to reflect the workers’ toil. The revegetation efforts have been so substantial that the density of tree cover now restricts weed growth, negating the need for constant maintenance. This year has marked the beginning of revegetation to this degree! Although only a small area, near the intersection of Moggill Creek and McKay Brook, has reached this stage, it shows great promise. With increased support from students and community, more extensive revegetation can be achieved.

Sightings of native fauna over the past year suggests successful nurturing of native plants, further vindicating the use of nest boxes, more of which are being constructed by students for future placement. Plastic waste collection has decreased in quantity, suggesting efforts of systematic removal have successfully depleted the area’s build up of nonbiodegradable waste. This tangible display of the Committee’s work indicates an exciting future for our environment.

An image of a Grey Butcherbird
This Grey Butcherbird sits in a fig tree that was planted the week before.

As a student of Kenmore State High School, I have seen the amazing work of the Environment Sub- ommittee, and the passion of those behind it. Having attended a working bee and planted a tree or two myself, I can confidently say their efforts have not gone unnoticed by the school community, both human, animal and plant species. Thanks to a tour by Mr Dymock, I witnessed the amazing revegetation accomplished near the intersection of Moggill Creek and McKay Brook. The Committee’s achievements certainly align with their mission statement, but beyond this their work brings the community together; flora, fauna and people alike.

So take a moment to appreciate their achievements at the next working bee, and maybe plant or nurture a tree of your own.

Article by Charlotte Davies
Student, Kenmore State High School
Land for Wildlife property
Kenmore, Brisbane

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