Age Groups: 0-7 | 7-13
School: 1st South Frankston Scout Group
Grant Sponsor: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
The 1st South Frankston Scout Group located at Montague Park in Frankston used its 2021 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant of $2,744 to provide Scouts and the community with an opportunity to participate in a biodiversity focused hands-on project and environmental learning activities. The project was focused on the creation of an edible indigenous plant garden and restoring habitat for native animals around their Scout hall.
As part of the new Scouting Bushcraft Survival Skills Program, Scouts of all ages need to learn to identify three indigenous plants in nature, and learn to identify and prepare for eating safe and edible indigenous plants. In addition, all Scouts have the opportunity to earn a Landcare Badge by participating in Landcare-related events or environmental projects.
The Scouts and Joeys worked together with the neighbouring Groundswell Community Garden on the project, and the garden will be a shared resource with Montague Park Pre-School, and enjoyed by visitors to Montague Park.
The children involved in the project have improved their awareness and knowledge of indigenous plants and habitat creation. They have learnt how to identify and remove invasive weeds, improve soil health, and select suitable edible indigenous plants. They have also learnt how to care for plants, and the importance of habitat to native wildlife thanks to a visit from a local organisation, Living with Wildlife, with whom they built possum dreys.
A major achievement of the project is the engagement and renewed relationship between the neighbouring 1st South Frankston Scout Group and the Groundswell Community Garden. Joeys and Scouts cleared a garden plot in the Groundswell Community Garden to plant edible indigenous plants.
This project has improved habitat for local native wildlife, including insects at Montague Park. The possum dreys constructed by the Scouts with Living with Wildlife have been installed around the park, providing habitat for ringtail possums.
Regular working bees are scheduled to maintain the health of the edible indigenous plant garden, and future planting is planned to further enhance and further restore the biodiversity of the area.
Scouts and Joeys learnt hands-on skills and enhanced their knowledge about indigenous plants and biodiversity through this project. They also learnt about working in partnership with others, as they teamed up with Groundswell Community Garden, and learnt about local native fauna through a workshop with Living with Wildlife.