The historic native garden at Sturt campus is receiving a makeover with help from the Australian Science and Mathematics School.
The high school’s view of the Australian native trees, pond and other plants is being enhanced by extensive plantings of groundcover, aquatic plants to encourage more frogs in the pond, and other plants to attract the ‘4Bs’ – birds, bees, butterlies and bats.
ASMS teacher James Tilly says the project carried the bold title of ‘Save the World B4 It’s Too Late’.
Mr Tilly, a Flinders science (marine biology) graduate and honours student under Professor Jim Mitchell, says more than 70 Year 10 and 11 students and staff are enjoying the outdoor activities as part of the school’s annual International Science Fair program.
Their insights into the local native flora and fauna will continue as the garden takes shape during spring.
The developments fit well with the memory of former Sturt lecturer Dr Ken Elford whose contribution to education at Flinders University formed part of the formation of Australian Studies on the curriculum.
The native garden was established in the 1990s to honour his efforts in the field.
Flinders student Josh Jarvis, president of the Flinders University Student Association’s Permaculture Committee and advocate for sustainable edible and native plantings for urban biodiversity at Bedford Park, says the Elford native garden is a ‘jewel’ in the grounds at Flinders.
“Together with the new market garden under development near Physical and Chemical Sciences building, we look forward to seeing the creek area near Sturt really benefit from these efforts,” Mr Jarvis says, congratulating the ASMS students and teachers involved.
To cap off a busy week, Emeritus Professor Rob Morrison – well known for his popular early TV science series, The Curiosity Show – was due to speak to the ASMS students.
Other experts, from Natural Resources Management boards and community volunteer groups, will support the school’s weekly ‘Adventure Space’ elective, when students will continue to tend to the native garden – and even create a a ‘Bat Cave’ shelter for local microbats.
As the new market garden takes shape at the main Bedford Park campus, working bees will be held in coming weeks to plant more fruit trees at the Sturt campus community garden near Flinders Living.