Students go 'native' and start gardening

PRIMARY school students across the Monaro are creating native gardens as part of a local environmental initiative.

They are learning about different local native plantsand their uses. Some are good to eat, can cure a headache or a toothache, or be made into string.

Six local primary schools are participating in the program, which aims to teach students about local native species that have traditional medicinal uses or are used for food or fibre by Aboriginal people.

Jerangle Public School principal Sonja Thorvaldson said the garden was a great asset for the school.

"It compliments awareness of indigenous culture in the area, Mrs Thorvaldson said.

"It will grow as the school's learning grows in Aboriginal awareness."

Jerangle student Jess Walker helped to plant the garden and loves the new sign that has been put up with photos of the different plants showing their names and uses.

"Everyone can have a look at the sign and know the names of the plants," Jess said.

"Every day when I come to school I will water the plants."

Marcus Achanfuo-Yeobah is also thrilled about the garden.

"It's awesome," he said.

Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C) facilitator Lesley Pedden said the project is called 'adopting Indigenous values in the community'.

"The aim of the project is to re-introduce traditional (Indigenous) values in the community and was funded by the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority," Ms Pedden said.

"Local Cooma based traditional land manager, Rod Mason, from the Wolgal - Bemmeringal clan, entertained and advised the children on indigenous land management practices and principles throughout this project."

Interpretation signs were erected at each school's 'bush tucker' garden listing the plants and their uses.

"The signs were funded by Bush Heritage, and the plants were supplied by K2C partner - Greening Australia" Ms Pedden said.

The K2C Partnership comprises 12 environment and conservation groups and agencies working together to identify, enhance and extend high value native vegetation communities and prevent the decline of native species in the region.

Bredbo, Michelago, Numeralla, Cooma North, Jerangle and Adaminaby Public Schools are involved in the project.

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