Department of Education

Sustainable Schools WA

Sustainable Schools WA

Dawson Park Primary


In conjunction with community groups, local government and a strong 'learning for sustainability' approach from Dawson Park Primary, a partnership was struck with Forrestfield Senior High to revegetate parts of the Crumpet Creek area within Yongar Reserve, Saltana Rd, High Wycombe.

Crumpet Creek links the Darling Ranges to the airport wetlands and ultimately the Swan River. The creek forms a natural corridor for wildlife up and down the escarpment. Poison Gully and Woodlupine Creek (or drain!) are the only other natural runoff sources for the airport wetlands which holds great environmental and indigenous cultural heritage value.

The overall aim was to select, grow and plant a new over-storey and understorey made of creek line rushes, sedges local bottlebrush, wattles, kangaroo paws and other local varieties of trees and flowering shrubs.

Students participated in the collection of seeds under the guidance of staff from Kings Park & Botanic Garden, established a systematic weed removal program, learned and practised plant propagation techniques and then planted-out the creek bed and surrounding environment with natural vegetation.

Working with several other local primary schools, in 2006, 2007 and 2008 the school (students, teachers and parents) planted approximately 17,000 native plants at the airport wetlands to (a) increase the native bush buffer on drier ground surrounding this area and (b) revegetate previously neglected areas of wetlands.

The Kalamunda Shire recognised the school’s efforts at Yongar Reserve with signage unveiled in 2006.

In support of this activity, Men of the Trees erected a shade house at the school capable of propagating 3000 seedling pots each year. Funded by the Airport Corporation and a Telstra Community Grant, a new fence has allowed us to install a second shade house increasing our capacity to over 6 000 native seedlings each year.

The school has extended reticulation to the second shade house and the ground area in between to create a permaculture garden, and the school canteen has agreed to purchase vegetables the children grow. Dawson’s Garden World in Forrestfield has agreed to supply seedlings for the garden.

As a result of our ongoing success we have approval from the Kalamunda Shire to revegetate a second reserve, currently an open field, neighbouring the school.

The Southern Brown bandicoot (also known by its Noongar aboriginal name of Quenda) is one of WA's most endearing mammals. We are lucky to have several living adjacent to the school owing to our proximity to an A Class Reserve. These creatures visit our school regularly with some classrooms having to keep their doors closed during the day so they don’t visit during lessons! The children love them and they are cared for by several of the more conscientious in upper primary – the Quenda Team!

Kalamunda Shire has proposed that we name the area ‘Quenda Hollow’ in honour of our frequent guests – or should we say hosts.

Even with our small ‘army of volunteers’ Yongar Reserve and Quenda Hollow will be a 10-year plus project covering a range of learning outcomes for the children (and staff and parents) of the school.

During and after that the area will offer a wealth of research opportunities for students from primary to tertiary education and beyond.

Curriculum Links

Science: Investigating; Life and Living
Society and Environment: Place and Space
Technology and Enterprise: Information
Values: 4. Social and Civic Responsibility; 5. Environmental Responsibility

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Dawson Park Primary

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