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Northern Bay P-12 College at work in the You Yangs Regional Park Beaconhills College at work in the Yarra Ranges National Park

Northern Bay P-12 College and You Yangs Regional Park

Students from Northern Bay (formerly Norlane High School) have been working with Parks Victoria on a project to maintain the mountain bike trails in the park as part of the Hands on Learning program.

Students have built sections of boardwalk at school and were then involved in installing these in the park. Other works included working on drainage and clearing of both mountain bike and walking trails.

The school’s program is designed to allow students to actively participate in various practical projects and team building activities. The program was intentionally designed to provide a complete alternative to the classroom structure and normal learning style, where new skills can be learnt by doing and experiencing, with less emphasis on verbal directions and written skills.

The regular visits to the park have helped the students maintain a positive attitude to school as well as having benefits for their health and wellbeing.

Beaconhills College and Yarra Ranges National Park

A group of Year 7 students were concerned about the Leadbeaters Possum following the 2009 bushfires that they created their own campaign: Help Endangered Leadbeaters Possum (HELP). Their goal was to raise awareness about the impact the bushfires had on wild populations.

Students organised several fieldtrips into areas where the Leadbeaters Possums are found and assisted Parks Victoria’s rangers in carrying out survey work.

Using the knowledge that they learnt in the field, the students then started a community action campaign which raised over $11,000 which was used to build 80 new homes for the Leadbeaters Possums. The students have received international awards for their work and have been featured in many media articles including being on Channel Seven’s  The Zoo while on location in the Yarra Rangers National Park.