By: Michael Fox
This morning I experienced an inspiring example of our community working together to create a special experience and a special place for students at Mt Gravatt State High School(SHS). Looking at the team picture with all the red shirts, it is hard to tell students from the Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed and local Bunnings team members.
School yards are often hot dry concrete inhabited by Crows. With strong environmental leadership Mt Gravatt SHS is different, and now Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed members have constructed raised garden beds to create a living heart to the school yard. Teacher and environmental hero, Andrew Walsh told me that students were already very interested and looking forward to the garden being created.
With the garden beds in place Community Liaison Officer, Irene Healy, engaged the support of three local Bunnings stores and Bunnings State Office. The Bunnings team arrived with plants, tools, hoses and ready for work. Power Garden Expert, Gaz did an outstanding job helping the students believe they could build a garden and it was a real pleasure to watch all the Bunnings team members working alongside students digging, planting, watering and mulching.
I was particularly impressed with the plants the Bunnings team selected.The planting will grow into a real kitchen garden with different types of lettuce, squash, fig tree and lots of citrus to feed both students and Orchard Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Marigold flowers will add a dash of colour and, importantly in Queensland, help keep mosquitoes away. Research is showing that volatiles in plants like marigold have high vapour toxicity for mosquitoes.(Debboun, M., Frances, S.P., Strickman, D.A. Insects Repellents Handbook, Second Edition(2015), CRC Press, London)