GALLERY | Tumby Bay students help to conserve local landscape

Students at Tumby Bay Area School have helped to conserve native plants to the area, holding planting days in late June and early July to establish areas for new blue gum and wattle seedlings.

Students helped to propagate seedlings in December, with their large school nursery allowing for several species to establish before planting.

Year 7 science teacher at the school Nyrie Baillie said her class were helping to increase the remnant population of the whibley wattle to a sustainable size, by planting on land donated for use by Don, Bev and Julian Baillie on their farming property near Tumby Bay.

She said it was one of the biggest sites they'd planted to date, with 100 wattle seedlings being planted that day before weed protectors and guards were installed with the help from Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula Officers Geraldine Turner and Rachael Kannussaar.

Other native species had also been direct drilled into the land to emulate a natural habitat the week prior.

Mrs Baillie said there was a "no-lines" policy in place, with students free to choose the area to plant their seedlings.

On June 27, blue gum seedlings were planted by year 1/2 and year 4/5 classes on the bank of Salt Creek on Richard and Helen Ware's property near Lipson, a long-time dream for the landholders.

Assistant principal Marie Elson said the older students assisted the younger ones to plant 600 seedlings.

"The Eyre Peninsula blue gums were propagated under Geraldine's guidance by the students in December 2018 from seed that was collected from the Ungarra-Lipson area," she said.

"Because of the recent rain, the creek had widened so Geraldine and her team made a crossing from pallets, which created a wonderful sense of adventure for the students.

"This process of propagating trees from seed and then planting out these seedlings for such a worthy reason is a really fabulous chance for our students to learn about sustainability in a very practical way.

"The students were thrilled to be a part of bringing a dream to fruition."

The school and Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula have been working together on similar programs since 2003.