Planting up a storm

Planting a tree for Schools Tree Day last Friday were students and staff from Wilson Park School (l-r) Tony Mitchell (staff member) Danny MacPherson, Aron Bruce, Jo Franey (staff member), Wayne Chaplin, Nick Gava, Gail Allan (teacher), Emma Crosby, Melissa Peters and Brianna Jones-Day.

Talk about dedication. Every year since 1996, come rain or shine, the students at Wilson Park Public School in East Lismore plant native trees to celebrate Schools Tree Day. This year it happened to be rain, of the torrential kind, but they simply donned raincoats and garbage bags and braved the conditions.

Wilson Park Public School is a particularly special school, and not just because its students have intellectual or physical disabilities. The school is named after Wilson Park, the last remnant of the Big Scrub in Lismore and part of the East Lismore koala corridor that runs up to Goonellabah.

Thanks to the schools dedication to Schools Tree Day, and the Koala Care Centres annual donation of baby gum trees, the grounds have become a koala sanctuary, with the children regularly spotting the iconic animals in the school grounds.

Planting the trees has given the children a sense of pride in their school, said Wilson Parks secondary teacher, Gail Allan. Plus its great to take learning out of the classroom and into the real environment. The students have to water the seedlings and nurture the trees as they grow, which is a fantastic experience for them. Then they get to spot koalas, which makes planting the trees just that little bit more special.


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