The students used the day to plant and maintain native gardens on the grounds of the school’s parish church. Students also cleaned up part of the Lake Macquarie foreshore in Booragul.
The purpose of the day was to give each of the Year 8 students a chance to contribute to a community volunteering project while also enabling them to develop a sense of camaraderie and to engage in spiritual reflection.
The day began with a liturgy where students and staff reflected on the beauty of creation and the importance of caring for the environment. Students then worked in teams to work on the gardens before taking a clean- up walk around the lake.
Some students also planted a herb garden adjacent to the school’s Hospitality Centre. The herbs were donated by Bunnings at Glendale and native plants were donated by Landcare, Lake Macquarie.
The clean-up was supported by Lake Macquarie Council’s Eco Angel program, which provided all the equipment and collected the waste. The total waste collected came in at over 60kgs, which is a substantial contribution to the local environment.
While participating in the clean-up, students also completed a litter audit. The data has now been added to the Australian Marine Debris Database, which is used to monitor the impacts of marine debris along Australia’s coastlines.
The students really enjoyed the day and saw the value in doing something for others without asking anything in return.
That said, it was great for the students to hear members of the local community expressing their gratitude for the students’ efforts.