Gardening and Composting

Facts and Figures

Growing your own garden can help the environment in many different ways such as:

  • Growing your own food can reduce packaging and pollution needed when you buy groceries 

  • Growing flowers and other plants can create habitats for wildlife especially birds and insects

  • Gardening can help clear the air from pollution and create more green spaces 

 

Composting is also important! It reduces the amount of food scraps that ends up wasted in landfill and it also creates nutrient-rich soil to help your gardens grow! Did you know that:

0 %
Of the rubbish Australians put in the general waste bin could be composted or put in a worm farm!
0 %
Of the rubbish Australians put in the general waste bin could be composted or put in a worm farm!

Gardening and Composting Challenges

Although it is important to grow plants for a sustainable environment, you can also grow plants to help with a sustainable mind.

There are many benefits of gardening or even spending time in a garden for your mental health: 

  • spending time in a green environment has been shown to improve self esteem and mood

  • gardening allows us to switch off from the virtual and physical world 

  • gardening nurtures and promotes creativity 

This challenge invites EcoMarines to create a garden space for students to visit to feel calm, switch-off, and connect themselves with nature. 

Step 1

Discuss creating a mindfulness garden with your EcoMarines crew. Here are some important things to consider: 

  • Is there an available space to have the garden? Perhaps a garden space already exists and you can add an area within the space for students to be mindful.

  • What physical items are important to have in this space e.g. a bench/seat, signage, plants, flowers etc. 

  • What activities/materials can you have in the garden e.g. a yoga mat, reading materials etc. 

  • Who do you need to talk with to get the appropriate permission e.g. P&C committee, principal, grounds keepers

Step 2

Build your mindfulness garden or space! You may need to think about funding if you need to purchase extra materials. A good idea is to organise a fundraiser or recycle drink containers with the Containers for Change refund scheme. You could even apply for free native plants if your school is within the Brisbane City Council area. 

Here are some helpful resources to assist your crew with planning and building your garden space: 

Step 3

Promote your mindfulness garden in on assembly. You can create a presentation and use photos taken of the garden and building process. Make sure to include these points: 

  1. The benefits of garden spaces for mental health 

  2. Where the garden is 

  3. Rules of the garden e.g. it is a quiet space

  4. When students can use the garden 

Step 4

Let us know how your garden turned out! We would love to see some photos or even a copy of the assembly presentation. You may have the chance to talk about your schools’ mindfulness garden at our end of year event The Wave! Use the form below!

Have you taken notice of any cute animals that regularly visit you school’s garden, such as frogs, butterflies or birds? What could you do to improve the garden to attract more of these animals?

You can start by creating fun, accessible habitats using recycled materials that you would otherwise dispose of. Submit photos of your awesome creations and informative posters for your chance to win a Bunnings prize pack to support you in future gardening projects.  

Good luck with your Happy Habitats! You can even pair this challenge with the Mindfulness Garden!

Step 1: Investigate your garden's ecosystem

Before getting started you’ll have to gain a better understanding of the ecosystem you’re dealing with so that you can choose the most suitable habitat to construct in that environment. Here are some questions you should consider when investigating your garden: 

  • What animals do I already see on a regular basis?
  • What animals would I like to attract to the garden that may benefit the rest of the ecosystem? e.g. pollinators that may help spread pollen from native flowers. 
  • How can I compliment the garden with the habitat I create? e.g. creating a frog habitat nearby a pond.  

 

Step 2: Choose the animal

As a team decide on which animal you would like to create a habitat for. Or feel free to decide on a few! We have provided some examples below but feel free to research other potential DIY animal habitats that you could construct e.g. bird habitat, lizard habitats etc. 

Think about the recycled materials you could use to create these habitats e.g. using offcuts of pipes for a frog habitat. 

 

Step 3: Start building!

With the guidance and/or permission of your teacher you can start building the habitat of your choice. Here are some questions you should consider whilst constructing: 

  • Where in the garden will this be positioned?
  • Based on where you plan to locate the structure, will the habitat be accessible to the animal? 
  • Will the habitat compliment surrounding features of the garden? e.g. a bird feeder would go great under a tree where a bird might land on.

 

Step 4: Send us Pictures!

Take photos of your beautiful creations along and submit it to us below or send us an email via the button. The EcoMarines team will choose a few entries to win a Bunnings prize pack !

Extra Resources and Activities

Composting and Worm Farms

To help with food waste and feeding your garden, why not implement a compost bin or worm farm at your school? 

Gronative Plant App

Our friends at Griffith University have created an app to help you design a native garden in SouthEast Queensland. 

Gardens and the Curriculum

There are plenty of organisations that help with linking gardening, cooking and the curriculum. Check these links out: 

Native Bee Hives

Native bee hives are a great way to pollinate your school gardens. Check out this resource to see how you can get your own! 

School Spotlights!

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