Following an intense bush-fire season in 2013 in Tasmania, restoration of native bushland in local communities for sustainable land management is a critical issue. The Fire Adaptation: Restoration Ecology in Fire Vulnerable Rural Communities project was funded through a Climate Connect grant from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office. The aim was to support regional communities to adapt to the increasing threats of bushfires.
The project has focussed on two fire vulnerable communities, Dunalley and Collinsvale Primary Schools to produce a local Bushfire Toolkit and build low flammability gardens. This considered the reduction of fuel loads whilst protecting ecosystems and assets through appropriate planning, planting and on-ground vegetation management.
Students visited the Sustainability Learning Centre, visited the Living with fire trail and the low flammability gardens.
Dunalley Primary School
Be Bushfire Safe! Be Quick, Be ready!
Following the scary bushfire season in 2013, me and my classmates from the 5/6 class at Dunalley Primary School are asking, “Are you prepared?” With our teacher Jackie King, we have been working on getting ready for bushfires in Dunalley. This Greening Australia project has been funded by a Climate Connect grant from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office, with help from the Sorell Council.
We started the project by thinking about what we liked about living in Dunalley and surroundings. Tye said, “It is a tight community, we all look out for each other”. Oliver said, “We have a kind community, it is calm and there is lots to do”. We visited the Sustainability Learning Centre at Mt Nelson and went on the Fire Adaptation Trail. We saw the low flammability gardens there with the landscape architect for our new school grounds, Susan Small.
Then we created a low flammability garden in Imlay Park, on the Dunalley foreshore, with the Sorell Council. Kerry Ford, Supervisor for Parks and Reserves has been helping us with weeding to prepare the area to plant low flammability plants such as pig face and flag iris and covered with red gravel mulch instead of pine bark mulch. We have designed the signage including a QR code, where we tell people about what they need to think about for a low flammability garden. People can download the QR code onto their smart phones.
We will also plant a low flammability garden in the new Dunalley Primary schoolground which will be built later in 2015.
As part of our climate change adaptation project we made a bushfire toolkit brochure. This tells people what they need to do to get their house fire ready and about low flammability gardens. It has advice from the local fire chief and has tips on what to do with your pets. Some people interviewed the Fire Chief, Aaron Millar, who said that our hotter drier summers mean more bushfire danger. The Junior Fire Brigade wrote about what they learnt from their training. We had teams for art, writing, photography, maps and Tyler put the brochure together. We know a lot more about how we can be ready for bushfires.
We are taking the brochure home and giving it out to the community. For a copy please contact the Dunalley School: [email protected]
By Madeleine, Dunalley Primary School, December 2014
Listen to Madeline talking about low flammability gardens
Collinsvale Primary School
Collinsvale Primary planted out a low flammability garden in the school grounds. The site was excavated to remove a tree stump and students planted Tasmanian natives such as flag iris, mother shield ferns and tree ferns. The plants were mulched with red gravel and the garden was bordered with rocks.
The students produced a bushfire brochure including tips on planting around the house and getting your house fire ready.