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Students Plant A Few Trees, 12,888 To Be Exact!

Students Plant A Few Trees, 12,888 To Be Exact!

Many people have forgotten one of the most vital elements for our existence. Trees are our Earth’s lungs, and we each have a responsibility to Mother Nature in greening the wider community.

Over the July holidays, 13 of our Year 11 students and four staff, helped plant 12,888 seedlings, in a day and a half. They were guided by City of Melville resident Bruce Ivers, and worked alongside volunteers from the Hall family on Hillroy Farm in Brookton, the farm of Year 11 boarder Sigrid Hall.

Teams of three planted a variety of native species that will increase biodiversity in paddocks, help reduce soil salinity and draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Kris and Murray Hall were impressed with the students and staff who visited their farm. They were unsure the target of 11,000 trees planted in two days was realistic; however, the group well and truly exceeded this expectation, to the surprise of all involved.

What impressed the Halls most about the group was their no-fuss attitude and their ability to just get in and do the work, despite the cold, wet and windy conditions. They did not hear a mumble of discontent from anyone the whole time they were planting. They didn’t just persevere with wet, cold feet and muddy shoes; they excelled and did it with a smile on their faces. 

“A fascinating visitor at morning tea on Wednesday was Debra Rule, chairperson of the Wheatbelt NRM.  Debra is passionate about the natural environment, loves planting trees and has a small landholding in West Pingelly. She spoke to the girls about the importance of land conservation, and biodiversity. Debra shared her personal leadership journey and experience as a strategic change management specialist. She encouraged the girls to explore career paths in natural resource management and agriculture.” Nic Keskinidis

According to Isabella Tinley, “It was enriching and rewarding to experience farm life with the Hall family and to connect to the land in a productive and sustainable way.”

Karin Boulton commented that, “Although many students were knee-deep in mud at one point, we had lots of fun and were enthusiastic to meet our target each day.”

“Through teamwork and determination, we planted over 12,000 native trees and shrubs. It was a fantastic experience to watch everyone work together for the benefit of the greater community. I would highly encourage other students to volunteer next year.” Isabella Tinley

“We relished the opportunity to share our commitment to sustainable food production with our urban-based Santa Maria College community. We believe the best way for young people to understand some of the challenges we face is to get in and see for themselves. We thank you for creating the opportunity which allowed the girls to do so,” said Kris and Murray Hall.

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