Green Army targets Bunbury icon

Young people learn skills and protect Koombana Bay

The local Green Army team is working with Southern Ports – Bunbury and Leschenault Community Nursery (LCN) to transform the landscape alongside Koombana Drive.

The Green Army Program provides opportunities for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management, while participating in projects that generate real benefits for the environment.

This is the third Green Army team coordinated by the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), who has facilitated strategic partnerships and projects in the Bunbury and Busselton region.

“The targeted planting of 500 seedlings along Koombana Drive bolsters ecological linkages and is another great example of how the team is actively working to restore diversity and create valuable habitats,” said Steve Ewings, SWCC Operations Manager.

The project was prompted by Southern Ports which provided more than $6000 in funding. The trees have been strategically located to improve amenity and shield port operations from Koombana Drive.

The Green Army team, which has been together since January, has also been immersed in the operational requirements of a wholesale and retail native nursery. Team members have picked up crucial skills in plant propagation and revegetation through their work on a range of local projects.

Deb Scott, LCN Business Coordinator, appreciates the opportunity to work with the Green Army and be involved in more community projects.

“I have enjoyed being able to respond to community requests to get out and complete projects such as the Rosamel Wetlands, which wouldn’t be possible without their support,” she said.

The benefits for the participants are multi-faceted. They are gaining project management, problem solving and teamwork skills, while contributing to the local environment.

Supervisor, Johnny Prefumo, is impressed with the efforts of his team and the positive feedback from the community.

“The approach is very autonomous. I am just the bus driver and plan the work for the teams. Each week one of the participants steps up as team leader to manage the work, including work safety and a challenging group warm up and stretching session each morning,” he said.

Koombana Drive is the last project with LCN as the Green Army team wraps up in the South West. Overall, the project has supported 30 young people across three teams to develop practical skills in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and has provided a critical stepping stone to help them gain future employment in the industry.

This project is hosted by the South West Catchments Council. Further support has been provided by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Photo: Mark Stanaway (volunteer), Johnny Prefumo (Green Army), Deb Scott (LCN) & Danica Delaporte (Green Army)

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