Carey Revegetation Project
Towards the end of 2014, Carey Baptist College placed a Pond Reserve at the front of the car park in order to deal with drainage on the premises. The Carey Head of Science, Mr Peter van Dam, is passionate about revegetation and saw this as an opportunity to both create a more natural environment around the pond and also improve students’ ecological knowledge.
Since that time the project has been used for educational purposes and provided innovative teaching opportunities in Biology classes. Students in Years 8 to 12 have studied pond ecosystems and investigated which native species of reeds and trees are best to attract wildlife. They have subsequently planted over 1500 trees and for some students, this was the first time they had done gardening of any kind! This area has attracted native fauna such as cormorants, pelicans, ducks and tadpoles in and around the reserve. There are also 50 native fish which have been placed in the pond, but it can be difficult to see them as they are camouflaged!
Apart from removing weeds along the way, there will soon be enough plants for the entire project to be self-sustaining! This has been an invaluable opportunity for students to engage with some ‘real biology’ without having to take them off site and it may even inspire some future Environmentalists or Conservationists.
Mr van Dam is hoping to raise funds for tables and chairs at the reserve, so students can have a functioning area to study there. He would also like to add a solar pump plus signage to inform people that it is an ongoing Science student project. Together with adding logs and rocks around the pond to make it more aesthetically pleasing to visitors, Mr van Dam is also hoping to stock it with more fish and other animals in order to create a sustainable food web and a healthy ecosystem, so generations of people and species can enjoy this Pond Reserve for many years to come.