Every year the Westville Boys High School Grade 10 boys are involved in different community engagement projects over a three day period. This is above and beyond what they do on a daily basis though the schools various task teams. The school comments that they have incredible boys who are so enthusiastic to serve the community and positively impact the world they live in. Initiatives like this also make them aware of their responsibility to society and the environment.
This year, the Westville Country Club was lucky enough to get a group of Grade 9 and 10 students to tackle the alien vegetation (majority of it listed as invasive species) which was invading our community Eco Trails. They spent 2 gruelling days kitted with slashers, bush knives, gloves & a chain saw removing alien vegetation and clearing our grasslands under supervision. The sweat, a little blood but luckily no tears was hopefully as rewarding to them as it was to the Eco Trails. The impact they made with the removal of Bracken from the grasslands, as well as invasive plants such as Morning glory, Scarlet morning glory, Madeira vine, Balloon vine, Ageratum, Bugweed, Triffid, Castor Oil bush, Coral bush, Syringa among other alien invasive plants was outstanding. According to Jean Senogles from The Westville Conservancy, we have a rich biodiversity in Westville’s wild areas which is worth conserving for our enjoyment now and in the future. The contribution from the boys of WBH must not be underestimated in helping to prevent our indigenous species being pushed out by invasives. To quote Jean, the Bracken fern, although indigenous, was also removed as it has a negative effect on the precious grasslands that are now much reduced in size in our area. The yellow billed kites call is again sounding in the Eco Trails and this is evidence of the positive effect that these students have already had on our environment.
Lisa Nourse, the Clubs admin manager, who is also passionate about the Eco Trails can also account for at least 3 trees that were saved by a group of students pulling down Madeira and Balloon vine which was strangling the trees.
Craig Donaldson, the Clubs Estate Manager whose portfolio includes the mammoth task of maintaining the Eco Trails, stated that the work done by the students over the 2 days would have taken him and his team weeks to accomplish. He worked hands on with the group and their teachers instructing and overseeing the physical labour.
A huge thanks and shout out goes to each and every student and the management and staff at WBHS for allowing us the opportunity to witness this type of community service. Not only was it beneficial to the environment but the knowledge acquired by both the students and the teachers through this practical work will be memorable.
Thanks also goes out to Jenni Bell and Jean Senogles from The Westville Conservancy who gave of their time and expertise to ensure that the work being done would have maximum benefit to the environment, they are instrumental to the work done in the Eco Trails. We as a community and Club would not have the pleasure of experiencing our very own Eco Trails with the insect life, birds, frogs, crabs and indigenous plant life if it was not for their input. We are eternally grateful for the partnership we have developed with The Westville Conservancy. We hope from this project to form more valuable partnerships with the community, schools and businesses in the area.
We have a constant challenge in maintaining the Eco Trails and sustaining the indigenous life throughout the area. If we had more projects such as this WBHS community service work we would have a far better impact on the environment and ecology in our community. We welcome any assistance, be it financial, donation of materials or plants, or time and man hours. We are community driven and we need the hands of the community to assist wherever possible – We are For The Community, By The Community. The community service projects that we have had so far have been very successful and we would love to grow this opportunity to get the community, schools, organisations and businesses involved.
Check out our Website and Facebook page for more updates on this and other community service projects. There will be some great before and after’s on our community services page. You can add to our wall of fame with your input. Please contact Lisa Nourse – firstname.lastname@example.org or 031 2661391 – should you wish to get involved.