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Local students praised for riverfront work

Local school students have been applauded for rejuvenating 3.1km of Mildura’s much-loved riverfront.

Local students praised for riverfront work

Mildura West Primary School students completing revegetation works at Johnson's Bend.

Mildura West Primary School students have spent more than five years working to improve the natural environment at both Rio Vista Park and at Johnson’s Bend by planting trees and shrubs, installing nesting boxes and interpretative signage.

Now the student’s hard work is coming to fruition – the trees and shrubs are growing well, birds are using the nesting boxes and locals and visitors alike are using these park areas to exercise, walk their dogs, fish and picnic. In addition to this, the students work at both riverfront sites contributed to Mildura West Primary School being named joint winner of the 2010 Community and Partnership Smart School of the Year at the ResourceSmart Schools Awards.

The rejuvenation works at Rio Vista Park and Johnsons Bend were funded by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and supported by Mildura Rural City Council.

“The work that has been done along the riverfront at Rio Vista Park and Johnson’s Bend shows what great outcomes can be achieved when people work together,” Mallee CMA board chair Joan Burns said.

“The Mildura West Primary School students have done a wonderful job improving these areas and I hope, as they grow older, they will be very proud to see what a difference their hard work has made to improving our riverfront.”

Ms Burns said the Mallee CMA and council had complemented the work done by the students by installing a boat ramp and picnic tables at Johnson’s Bend, as well as improving the turning areas and car parks.  She said much of the additional rehabilitation work at both sites was conducted by Mildura West Primary School students, including revegetation, track rationalization, signage and installation of bench seats made from recycled milk bottles for walkers to enjoy the river views.

Mildura Rural City Council’s biodiversity officer Catherine Hall has been working with the Mildura West Primary School students during the life of the project and says the students have been enthusiastic workers.

“This project has given the students a chance to be directly involved in making a visible improvement to two of Mildura’s most popular riverfront areas,” she said.

“As the Land Manager of Rio Vista Park and Johnson’s Bend, council has been really pleased with Mildura West Primary School’s commitment and interest in being involved in these rehabilitation projects. 

“Council values the involvement of local schools in environmental activities, as well as the generous financial support of the Mallee CMA, and looks forward to a continued interaction over the coming years.”

Mildura West Primary School teacher Marion Vorwerk said the school regards community partnerships as an essential part of student learning.

“Such an experience puts student learning in an authentic context and they have the opportunity to take action in their community to make a difference,” she said.

“This instils pride in our young people so they have the opportunity to become more community minded.”

Grade 6 student Maya Hodge said working to improve the two riverfront sites was rewarding.

“Everyone needs to make a mark so we have a sustainable future,” she said.

Below is a poem written by Mildura West Primary School student Bree Booth:


The Climate Is Changing...
By Bree Booth

There was the fire and now the flood,
The world is slowly getting warm,
Ice to water, dirt to mud,
It is slowly changing form.
It is changing before our very eyes,
Becoming so strange,
Though we don’t seem to realise,
And now’s the time to change!
For we can make all the difference,
The littlest things can mean our planet’s life,
This is our chance,
To take action now or we’re in strife!
It’s not just our planet’s life; it’s ours as well,
So choose a peaceful planet or a living hell!

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