Local schools participated in the SITEWORKS FOR SCHOOLS during 2014 and 2015. With funding from NSW Science Week/Inspiring Australia, students experienced first-hand environmental issues and participated in an audit of flora and fauna on the Bundanon property with scientists and ecologists.
Siteworks associate Diego Bonnetto guided students on a weedy walk around Bundanon, learning about the introduced species of the farmland and bush edges. They explored the positive and negative qualities of introduced plants in the Australian bush.
Students gained an insight into how endangered species in the region, such as the brush-tailed rock wallaby are monitored and protected. Juliet Dingle from National Parks and Wildlife and Friends of the Brush-Tailed Rock wallaby set sand pads on the property as part of monitoring feral fox numbers. Students learnt that fox predation is the major threat to the local rock-wallabies. Juliet demonstrated how changes in the fox numbers are assessed as well as other wildlife species and what methods are used to rid the natural bushland of these damaging introduced species.
This was a great opportunity to explore the bush with experts of everything ornithological Barry Virtue and Ann Millard, who ventured out to listen to, observe and document the diverse bird species on the Bundanon property. Students learnt about the link between habitat and bird species and how important bush regeneration is to maintaining fauna populations.
Ralph Dixon, a bush regenerator and member of Bundanon’s Property Team, led students on an exploration of selected sites of the Living Landscape- a project to rid the property of Lantana, regenerate the bush and re-connect wildlife corridors to preserve vulnerable and endangered species.
Liza Smith of the University of Wollongong, Janet Cosh Herbarium, involved students in surveying flora, using scientific survey methods within a selected quadrat of bushland.