Padstow NSW TAFE horticulture students have donated 500 plants to help regrow fire-affected South Coast communities after the Black Summer bushfires.
The Sydney-based students propagated and maintained the native plants as part of their studies and donated them to not-for-profit Convoy of Hope’s Regrow project.
Sutherland Shire local, Colvin Cashman, is studying for his Certificate III in Horticulture and said it is rewarding to know his class is helping to revegetate so many communities in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley regions.
“It’s a great feeling knowing the practical skills we’re learning at TAFE NSW are having an impact on not only the environment but the people who have faced such devastation during the past year,” he said.
“I’ve always had an interest in bush regeneration and it’s wonderful I can be a part of something serving such a great purpose.”
Colvin is halfway through his course and said he enjoys learning about how to propagate different types of plants and watching seedlings and cuttings grow by implementing different industry practices.
Convoy of Hope’s Oceania regional leader, Joel A’Bell, said the donation will go on to help communities rehabilitate the land affected by the bushfires.
“We’re so grateful TAFE NSW has donated to the Regrow project, which is bringing communities together to restore the environmental habitat and ecosystem on the South Coast,” he said.
“With much of the bushfire affected residents’ time, energy and resources currently focused on re-establishing their homes and livelihoods, it’s great to receive so many donations to facilitate the nurturing, planting and regeneration of bushfire affected community greenspaces and residential gardens.”
TAFE NSW’s head teacher in horticulture, David Lovell, said the donation was a chance for students to apply the hands-on skills they learn in the classroom to the real-world environment.
“The students have nurtured the plants as part of their studies by planning and installing irrigation systems, controlling pests and disease, and maintaining soil quality,” he said.
“The plants the students have now donated will go on to benefit a number of communities. Usually we sell them locally but it seems fitting they are passed on to areas in NSW that need these plants.”