On a brisk autumn day, Hagley Farm Primary students are busy reforming a patch of land from its history as a pine plantation, to a new garden of native Tasmanian plants.
The patch of land beside the school’s oval will eventually become a meandering walkway through a whole forest of natives, becoming the Native Species Arboretum for the school and the Hagley Farm visitor centre.
Working with NRM North through the federally-funded National Landcare Program community grants, the project at Hagley Farm Primary sees pupils getting their hands dirty and enjoying the chance to get involved in planting a new garden.
Lead agriculture teacher Andrew Harris said the partnership with NRM North was a support to the school to provide information and support on the program.
He said the eventual plan for the new garden was to have it as part of the visitors’ centre’s school programs, giving visiting pupils the chance to walk through the garden and identify native plants.
“Because they’re all native Tasmanian species … the plan is that once the plants are big enough our visitors’ centre staff will develop an activity around identifying those plants,” he said.
“It’s available to the Hagley students but more importantly it’s available to all those visitors.”
Mr Harris said the visitors’ centre had just over 5300 visitors last year, an increase on the average of 4500-5000 visitors.
Hagley Farm Primary principal Mick Davy said the development of the garden was part of the school’s ongoing programs to develop a stronger link for students between education and nature.