Restoring Lismore’s riverbanks

School students will help restore Lismore’s riverbanks with the Wilsons River Landcare Group that has been successful for the third time with NSW Environmental Trust funding of $100,000 over three years. They will work with six schools to plant 6,000 trees, creating links across the Wilsons River corridor in Lismore and Tucki Creek in Goonellabah.

The project is being delivered in partnership with Wilsons River Landcare, Richmond Landcare, Lismore City Council, Rous Water, EnviTE, a team of local bush regenerators, and six schools including Trinity Catholic College, Richmond River High School, Woodlawn College, St Carthage”s Primary and Albert Park Public. Kadina High School is involved with planting on Tucki Creek in Goonellabah.

On Wednesday 28 April, NSW State MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin visited the riverbank with Kate Washington Shadow Minister for the Environment and Paul Scully Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, and Mayor Vanessa Ekins to help Landcarers and students from Albert Park Public to launch the project and plant the first trees.

“I love Landcare because it brings community together to care for our landscapes and rivers, so important here in Lismore. Students learn great skills, both theoretical and practical, in the stewardship of our precious environment,” Ms Saffin said.

“The project builds the capacity for schools to create outdoor living classrooms where students learn about ecology and the importance of biodiversity,” project coordinator Georgina Jones said.

“We run mini outdoor education field days with each school and are lucky enough to be able to draw upon the knowledge and expertise from a range of environmental educators including Landcare, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre, Friends of the Koala, North East Waste and Friends of Lismore rainforest Botanic Gardens as well as experts from Southern Cross University” Georgina said.

Dr Kristin den Exter from the Wilsons River Landcare Group says the project is a testament to the community-based local collaborative partnerships that exist in Lismore.

“The project is a real reflection of the community’s dedication to environmental education, giving young people skills and knowledge to be able to take positive on ground action for their futures”.

“The legacy of this project will be a tipping point in the restoration of the Wilsons River. We are grateful to the NSW Government for their ongoing support through the NSW Environmental Trust Program for this innovative project”.

Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins emphasized the importance of the project for linking the riverbank plantings of Landcare, Lismore City Council and Rous Water.

“It is wonderful to see years of work by schools and Landcare continue, the trees are growing with the students and we are connecting the gaps on our urban riverbanks. this shows hope for the future and what we can do with our own hands to make change in our community” Vanessa said.

The first environmental education field day will be held next week at Albert Park Public School.

Feature image shows the Hon. Kate Washington MP – Shadow Minister for the Environment, Hannah Rice Hayes – Regional Landcare Facilitator, Dr Kristin den Exter – Partnerships Manager, National Landcare Network and Public Officer, Wilsons River Landcare Group, Hon. Paul Scully MP – Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Hon. Janelle Saffin MP – Member for Lismore, Laura McLauchlan – Albert Park Public School, Vanessa Ekins, Mayor Lismore, and Secretary Wilsons River Landcare Group, Georgina Jones, Project Coordinator, EnviTE Environment with students from Albert Park Public School.

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