Caring for Country - Operation Wattle

Operation Wattle is the name we’ve given to the Caring for Country School Program we’re running with year 3 students at Balgowlah Heights Public School (BHPS). Under licence from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), the endangered subspecies of Sunshine Wattle that we are growing with students occurs locally at Dobroyd Headland – a National Park less than 2km from the school! Operation Wattle is an example of a local community Caring for Country by saving a local Wattle species from extinction.

How do we grow the Sunshine Wattle best?

We’ve set up an experiment to test which type of seed raising mix works best when propagating Sunshine Wattles from seed.

• Mix 1 is a blend of 50% coir and 50% perlite.

• Mix 2 is 100% river sand.

We initially sowed n = 921 Sunshine Wattle seeds. After 21 days we’ve had n = 276 seedlings emerge. While we’ve seenslightly better results in the perlite/coir mix (n = 144 seedlings) than the river sand mix (n = 132 seedlings), both mixes seem to be working well.

Online Learning

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, students have been participating in Operation Wattle via weekly online learning material. As one activity, students were asked to form a hypothesis about which seed raising mix they thought would give the best germination rate.

Students have been tracking the germination of our Sunshine Wattle seedlings at home via a series of videos.

Click HERE to watch the 14 day update.

Click HERE to watch the day 21 update.

If you would like Bush to Bowl to develop a unique Caring for Country Program for your school or organisation, please get in touch.

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