Bellvista students dig in for World Wetlands Day

Bellvista students dig in for World Wetlands Day

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Students from Unity College at Stockland’s Bellvista community have dug in deep to help create frog habitat at Caloundra South as part of a World Wetlands Day event.

On Tuesday, (3 February) more than 20 students from years 8 to 12, along with members of the Bells Creek Green Army and community groups, travelled to the 50-hectare Little Italy site to plant 900 seedlings at a newly-created pond habitat for the nationally protected Wallum Sedgefrog.

“Little Italy” is named because of its distinctive shape resembling the famous ‘boot’ of Italy. It is the first of a series of community-led rehabilitation and conservation projects at Caloundra South to take place over the next four years.

Students prepare to create new frog habitat

Unity College students Liam Roberts and Andrew Dawkins at the World Wetlands Day event

From Left to Right front row - Andrew Dawkins (student), Talisa Kath Green Army supervisor, Sarah Carpenter (student) and Brianna Smyth. Back row Stockland Mark Stephens

“Little Italy” is named because of its distinctive shape resembling the famous ‘boot’ of Italy.

The special planting event in aid of World Wetlands Day was co-ordinated by SEQ Catchments Ltd under the Caloundra South Community Stewardship program - developed by Stockland, the Sunshine Coast Council, Bells Creek Green Army and environmental community organisations, to identify and optimise community land care opportunities within Caloundra South.

Stockland Senior Development Manager, Mark Stephens, said he was delighted by the enthusiasm of the students and the community groups who planted a range of native species.

“It’s great to see such positive engagement and support from the local school and community-based environmental groups who want to be involved in creating frog habitat and connectivity for the site’s Wallum Sedgefrog populations,” Mr Stephens said.

Mr Stephens said Unity College students were invited to take part in the event because the school, located at Stockland’s Bellvista Community, was close to the Caloundra South rehabilitation site.

“Involving Unity College students enables them to play an active role in helping rehabilitate an environment close to their home,’’ he said.

“The event also served as a valuable outdoor lesson as prior to planting the seedlings, students were given a lecture on the Wallum Sedgefrog by leading expert Dr Mark Bayley from Australian Wetlands who is overseeing the construction of frog ponds across the entire Caloundra South project.”

World Wetlands Day commemorates the signing of the international treaty in 1971 at Ramsar in Iran to appreciate and protect wetland ecosystems.

SEQ Catchments Community Partnerships Manager (North), Susie Chapman, said planting seedlings at Caloundra South would benefit important wetlands located near the site.

“Moreton Bay, including Pumicestone Passage downstream of Caloundra South, has been listed as significant Ramsar wetland,’’ Ms Chapman said.

“With this year’s Wetlands for the Future theme, it is essential we appreciate the need to protect and enhance our wetland communities for the future, for they contribute to our health and wellbeing as well as that of the many species that inhabit them.”

Mr Stephens said rehabilitation work underway at the Caloundra South site was still well-ahead of schedule with the project receiving positive support from many local community-based environmental groups.

“Stockland is proud to be involved in this important project which was initiated to improve waterway health and the ecological integrity of the Bells Creek and Pumicestone Catchments at a grass roots level,” he said.

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