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Hawker College Tree Day in Spring

21 Sep 2020

People are planting trees

A Tree Day in Spring is just one of the ways the Hawker College community contributes to developing a sustainable school environment.

This annual initiative commenced in 2017, when the College was looking to make use of a patch of previously unused land. A plan to plant trees in this space was developed to support sustainability with the added benefit of beautifying and enriching the school.

Over time, the students have planted more than 1000 trees on school grounds, with the College’s horticulture class taking pride in propagating the native species for planting.

According to horticulture teacher Megan Matthews, this year more than 300 trees have been propagated on site, including a variety of specialised and endangered plant species.

“Once they are established it will be nice to reflect and see the outcome of our hard work,” Ms Matthews said.

The trees planted are native species, suitable for the unique Canberra environment and will contribute to the regeneration of the natural landscape while supporting biodiversity.

The initiative has had an impact on the wider school community with concepts such as sustainability and biodiversity increasingly integrated into the school’s academic programs. Students studying engineering and science have had the opportunity to develop climate sensors to gather real-time data to support their projects.

The College’s commitment to developing and maintaining a sustainable environment was recognised by ACT Smart who awarded a five-star accreditation for sustainability. A functioning beehive can also be found on the school premises.

Hawker College student Charlie took part in this year’s Tree Day in Spring event and enjoyed the hands-on experience and the opportunity to try something completely new.

“I have enjoyed it so far and I look forward to doing it for the rest of this year and next year,” said Charlie.

Hawker College had the support of Canberrans employed under the Jobs for Canberrans Fund as part of COVID-19 recovery scheme. This has been a rewarding contribution and experience for the College community with all anticipating the impact of their contributions in ten years’ time.

“It would have been logistically quite challenging to get everything done with the classes that we have. So, having the assistance of Jobs for Canberrans recruits was critical to get this done successfully and, in a time-effective manner,” Ms Matthews said.

The school community at Hawker College has inspired a generation through combining education and active participation to advocate for a sustainable future.