STUDENTS at St Colman’s School in Mortlake are a step closer to looking after their own farm, with drainage work almost complete.
Once the work is done, the school will welcome sheep and chickens to the farm, to co-exist with vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
The school farm will provide a hands-on learning experience for the students in a variety of subjects.
“As soon as we have water, chickens and sheep will be introduced in the next fortnight,” principal Tim Bourke said.
“We provide the water in troughs for the sheep and chickens, through the vegetable gardens and the fruit trees around the perimeter.”
Mr Bourke said the school would not rule out other animals in the future.
“There’s a possibility for pigs in the future,” he said.
“But right now once we’ve done the water, it’s the end of what we planned to date.
“Then the real thing comes into play – learning about the farm for learning’s sake.”
While the project was primarily steered by the senior children, all students have had an input.
“The children spent their last day of Term 2 seeding the grass and now it’s growing,” Mr Bourke said.
Origin Energy contributed $10,000 towards St Colman’s Environmental Education, of which the school farm was a key element.
Mortlake Power Station plant manager Paul Hill said Origin was delighted to partner with St Colman’s to make the environmental education program come to life.
“Origin is always looking for opportunities to make a real, lasting difference in local communities and we think supporting this program can do just that,” he said.
“The great thing about this program is it is just so practical.
“It will enable students to learn new skills over an extended period, from planning a project through to building, planting and then caring for all sorts of plants and animals.”