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King Island Students Dig In For Conservation

Blog Post - King Island Students Dig In For Conservation

The Currie Wharf precinct has been recognised by the King Island Natural Resource Management Group (KINRMG) as a highly utilised and culturally significant area, and since 2011 they have been holding regular catered Field Days for volunteers to reduce weeds and promote native vegetation.

Native vegetation including threatened species Lepidium pseudotasmanicum (Native Peppercress) and previously extinct but reintroduced Banksia integrifolia (Coast Banksia) are threatened by weeds in this sensitive coastal environment. The area is culturally significant because the bush has interconnecting walking trails between the Currie Lighthouse, the old keepers house (now Museum) and original cemetery from the first years of settlement on King Island and the harbour (the first and only natural harbour on King Island). Historically this is one of the most important sites on King Island.

Utilising a 2019 FNPW Community Conservation Grant, KINRMG is running 6 Field Days over a two-year period, with about 15 volunteers per Field Day donating 2 hours of labour each time, to remove weeds and maintain native bushland as priority areas present themselves. 

Students from King Island District School are also involved in the project, and provide an inspiration for the adult volunteers.  Undeterred by wet weather, Grade 3s  enthusiastically worked on the site – planting out cuttings, helping each other, and carefully avoiding damaging the fragile site. The next Field Day was held in glorious winter sunshine and the large group, consisting of the Grade 3 and Prep classes, four Year 9 volunteer helpers and many adult volunteers, walked south from the boathouse along the coast to large sections of pigface growing naturally next to the ocean.The crowd of volunteers carefully dug up small clumps of pigface in a mosaic type of pattern to allow the native plant to easily fully regenerate.

 


 

Other expected outcomes of this project are a greater awareness and appreciation of the island's natural assets through community participation. Enhancement of the bushland provides greater biodiversity, and a chance for native flora and fauna to thrive. People are better able to be connected to culture via maintained walking tracks between culturally significant sites as walking is the most logical way to get to each of these sites if visiting the area.

"The interest shown by the younger members of the community bodes well for future engagement in the Currie Wharf Bush Restoration Project, and we expect to sustain the successes of the past well into the future as the project continues to be a true community project".

 

FNPW's Community Conservation Grants support both field projects and education programs that have a direct outcome for nature conservation in Australia. The next round of community grants will open for applications on 1 December 2019.  Click here for more information.

 


 

 

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