Students plant a seed for sustainability

Students at Cornerstone Christian College have put sustainability on the agenda by transforming the school’s green patch into a shining example of a waterwise garden.

The project – which so far has involved a team of close to 50 Year 5/6 students and staff over four months – is the result of a unique partnership between the school, local water provider Busselton Water and the Busselton Men’s Shed.

Complete with a water tank, rain gauges, a wicking bed garden, solar kits and a greenhouse, the garden is now a strong base for students to grow vegetables, understand the Noongar seasons and learn more about the importance of water and native bush tucker plants.

Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott said that Cornerstone Christian College has set an outstanding example of waterwise gardening education within the community.

“Perfecting the art of waterwise gardening means using water efficiently to ensure gardens thrive on less water. It’s something that can take years for people to learn, which is why it’s important that schools like Cornerstone include it as part of the school experience from a young age,” said Mr Elliott.

Year 5/6 teacher at Cornerstone Christian College Matt Meyerink said that the garden would not have been possible without the support of Busselton Water, the Men’s Shed, Bunnings and the school’s Parents and Friends Committee.

“The kids love getting outside and getting their hands dirty and the garden is a perfect opportunity to encourage outdoor learning! They have been involved in developing this sustainable garden and will have ownership of the space by composting food scraps, growing their own produce and seeing food flow from ‘garden to plate’,” Mr Meyerink said.

“Educating students in sustainable living and giving them the practical skills needed to grow and cook food is important. This funding was a blessing in helping our school to further establish the garden as a gift from which we can teach others.”

To celebrate the transformed garden, students served scones and a salad using vegetables from the garden in a small morning tea with Parent and Friends Committee representatives and Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott.

Busselton Water CEO, Chris Elliott (centre) with Cornerstone Christian College Year 5/6s, their teachers Matt Meyerink and Ben Fearnley, Head of Primary Judy Nolan and P&F Jo Gairdner