THE Mount Sylvia State School community will plant 600 trees on the creek bank bordering their grounds in an effort to prevent erosion and sediment loss into the waterway.
Last Wednesday the school undertook site preparation work as part of the first step of the Riparian Restoration Project.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council environment officer Martin Bennett helped students identify native species along the creek bank ahead of the community planting day on September 2.
School principal Mark Thompson said it was just the beginning of a 12-month project.
Following the planting of the trees next month, students will be involved in a maintenance and monitoring program that will be undertaken as a regular school activity.
"Our students here are involved in monitoring, recording and documenting the growth of those species and essentially looking after them,” Mr Thompson said.
Getting the kids' hands in the dirt was a valuable learning experience about the function of riparian vegetation in the catchment system just over the playground fence.
"From a learning point of view, we do biological sciences in school but this is actually applying that knowledge and skills,” he said.
"Then we take that knowledge and skills and apply that to other areas, particularly because a lot of our children come from farming families and they're very interested in what happens to the land around our school.”
"Where we're located... we know what we do here actually impacts on people downstream.”
Mr Thompson encouraged local families and members of the community with an interest in taking part to get involved in the planting day, with a chance to forge valuable memories by adopting a tree.
"We're going to have 600 trees, there are plenty of opportunities for families to adopt a group of trees,” he said.
"They can be responsible for them and look after them and maybe say, 'well our children grew those trees'.”
The project is a joint initiative between the school and Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc, with support coming from the council, Healthy Land and Water and Seqwater, which funded the venture under its Water for Life community grants program.
Seqwater CEO Jim Pruss said it was a great initiative.
"By stabilising and re-vegetating the river bank, it will help stop eroded soil from entering the creek and ultimately improve raw water quality,” Mr Pruss said.
"We are thankful to both the Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc and the Mount Sylvia State School for their hard work to improve catchment health.”
For more information phone Diane Guthrie of LUCI on 0413333681 or the school on 54626245.
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