‘Walk on the Wild Side’ Nature Trail
Students and parents planting

Age Groups: 7-13

Grant Name: 2022 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants

School: Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School Cowes

Grant Sponsor: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action

Project Overview

Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School in Cowes, Victoria, opened in 2018 with the vision of transforming the school site from a weed ridden paddock to a haven for Phillip Islands’ bush and wetland creatures.

Through a lot of hard work and drawing inspiration from the nearby Ramsar Listed Rhyll Wetlands and Oswin Roberts Reserve, they’ve successfully created bushland and wetland habitat refuges. In addition, thanks to their 2022 Victorian Junior Landcare and Grant, the school has also established a walking trail within school grounds aimed at promoting opportunities for students to care for indigenous plants and animals; mentor lifelong environmental awareness; and to help spread the ‘Victorians value nature’ message to all.

Educational Outcomes

The school’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ nature trail project was devised to take students on a journey from the classroom (researching, writing, and creating) to discovery of biodiversity and immersion outdoors.

Through the project, students were able to discover facts about indigenous flora and fauna, including the importance of indigenous plants to create habitat for a wide range of animals, and what these plants need to survive and thrive. Students then shared this knowledge with the wider community through wooden garden ‘statues’ that highlight interesting facts and how we can all help to protect native habitat.

Junior students applied the knowledge gained from the Landcare 'Bush Pantry' education session and were able to describe the importance of indigenous plants as a food source, medicine and materials for construction, to their peers and families.

The school’s Junior students also undertook bird surveys as part of the project and enjoyed using binoculars and bird identification charts to discover more about local birds.

Environmental Outcomes

In total, 125 students, 20 staff and the 50 members of our wider community rallied together to plant 750 indigenous trees, shrubs and understorey throughout the school grounds as part of the project.

"I really liked planting trees with my Grade 6 buddy,” shared Isabella, a Foundation student at the school. “We planted lots of plants together."

To make sure their plants and nature trail thrive, students regularly check on the growth of their plants with enthusiasm and proudly show their family and friends their plants whenever they can!


Thanks to their ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ nature trail project, Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School has formed strong partnerships with the local Bass Coast Landcare Group, Phillip Island Nature Parks, local Bushbank indigenous nursery, and Western Port Water. The project also involved the local ResourceSmart School Coordinator to assist with biodiversity audits.

“Our school community were so supportive of our project,” shared an educator from the school. “Everyone was so keen to help plant and spread mulch. Students, staff and parents finished the planting day exhausted because they just gave so much of themselves. We are all so proud of what we have achieved.”