Kellyville Public School in NSW has for some time been involved in teaching its students about the native plants and growing food, so when the opportunity arose to get a turf makeover, its EnviroKids group were on hand to share their achievements.The school has a vegetable patch as well as an Aboriginal Garden with native plants and has implemented programs such as "clean-up Kellyville week", worm farms and recycled water through its five tanks.
Kellyville Public is one of 10 schools that have been rolling out "perfect pitches of green", courtesy of an alliance between Junior Landcare and Turf Australia to encourage kids to get outdoors and engender an interest in the natural environment. The most recent initiative with the representative body for the turf industry, inspired by the 2014 FIFA World Cup, offered 10 schools or youth groups a natural grass makeover – - to update sports areas, enhance outdoor learning areas or create more spaces for play. By greening up schools and play spaces, the health and wellbeing of Australian children benefits.
Turf Australia has donated turf to each recipient to cover an area of up to 200 square metres.This is slightly bigger than the goalmouth of a standard sporting field. The school rolled out its own Perfect Pitch of Green with valuable assistance from others. Supporters included Kennards Hire, which inspected the site, advised on the machinery necessary for excavation and provided a backhoe for the job; Michael Muscat at Green Life Turf who supplied the turf; Baulkham Hills Landscape which delivered 31 tonnes of soil mixed with fertiliser, and a local plumber who advised on the sprinkler system.
The day chosen to roll out the turf was 35°C. Working quickly in the heat, with students helping to level the turf, parents and supporters got the area laid in two hours. The sprinkler system was switch on, and the turf area began its life as a new play area for the students at Kellyville Public.
This article was originally published in the February 2015 edition of Landcare in Focus.