A positive change to the environment is just one of many advantages of a revegetation project at Hagley Farm Primary School.
For almost a year, pupils at the farm school have been working with students at the Northern Support School on a project to bring more native plants and animals to Tasmania.
Last year, Hagley received a grant through NRM North to revegetate two old radiata pine plantations with a native species shelterbelt through the Off Shoots project.
Hagley has been working with the support school to prepare for planting, to learn skills and form new relationships along the way.
Classes from the support school went on to visit Hagley in term 4 last year and together with grade 3 and 4 classes, they propagated more than 1000 plants.
Lead teacher of agricultural education at Hagley Andrew Harris said it was great to see students from the two different schools working together.
“After they propagated the plants, the Northern Support School took them back to their school and they’ve been nurturing them over the summer period,” Mr Harris said.
“Now they’re big enough to plant.”
Last week, Northern Support School students joined more than 200 Hagley pupils from grades 3 to 6 to start planting the native species on the piece of land.
“The Northern Support School kids get heaps out of it,” Mr Harris said.
“For the Hagley kids, it’s a wonderful way for them to contribute to the improvement of our school farm environment.
“It’s a really practical way that they’ve been able to get involved and it’s a hands-on aspect which they enjoy.”
He said one of the most important parts of the program was the atmosphere of social inclusion it created between the two schools.
“What makes this unique is all the social stuff that happens between the Hagley kids and the Northern Support School kids,” Mr Harris said.
The school is already planning its second revegetation project, which will include overhauling another radiata pine forest.
“That space will be specifically designed to be an educational space,” Mr Harris said.
“It will eventually be set up as a native species identification zone.”
Last month, the Hagley Farm Primary School program won a Junior Landcare Team Award for the implementation of landcare practices on the school grounds.
The program was commended by judges for providing hands-on learning opportunities for young people who are living with a disability.