Contributed by Georgina Jones, Secretary, Big Scrub Landcare

On Friday Dec 1st 2017 the Wilsons River Catchment Schools Education and Restoration Project partnered with The Big Scrub Rainforest Schools Project to strengthen the ability of students at St Johns College Woodlawn to take part in rainforest regeneration and to inspire young people to take action to be aware of, and care for, their local ecosystem and catchment.

The Northern Rivers Group of Environmental Educators presented student activities about lowland subtropical rainforest – topics included geology, flora and fauna, history and the community responses and actions for the Big Scrub.

Environmental educators are working with students from the school to publish the story of the Big Scrub rainforest and establish an online network for young people by young people.

Students from grade seven planted 500 trees on the day and at the end of the session, were asked what they had learnt about the Big Scrub. Some of their responses were:

  • “The Big Scrub Rainforest was an extremely large rainforest”
  • “There was 75,000 ha of Big Scrub rainforest”
  • “Some of the seeds are edible”
  • “The forests were created when Mt Warning erupted”
  • “There were protests to keep the rainforest”
  • “I learnt that we need to care more for our Big Scrub environment and the animals around us”
  • “I learnt that it had red cedars and they were cut down in this process about 99% of the whole forest was cut down only leaving 1 % left”
  • “I think my family would be extremely proud of our school”
  • “Planting trees is a great experience”
  • “Now I know how to plant trees I will use this knowledge in the future”.

To date students at the college have planted over 3000 rainforest riparian trees.

This project was supported and funded by: The NSW Environmental Trust, Rous County Council, North East Waste, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre, Richmond Landcare Inc., Lismore City Council and the Australian Association for Environmental Education and Southern Cross University.