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Issue Number #38
Issue Date Winter 2007
Number of Articles Online 1 Articles
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Title Potting up a Storm
Author Liz Quinn

The Understorey Network with Kallista Disability Services and Sustainable Living Tasmania is currently hosting a Green Corp team. The team is based at our Community Nursery in Tolosa St, Glenorchy. I recently caught up with a few of the team to find out what they have been up to.

Chris and Sammy-Jo are both 17 and are two-thirds of the way through a six month stint in the nursery Greencorp team. They are both quick to mention it's a great job, they get paid, it's outdoors, social and pretty "laid-back". I get the feeling it's a great way to enter the workforce and beats stacking supermarket shelves.

"We have been cleaning up the community nursery" Sammy-Jo says. Propagating and potting on natives, seed collecting, identifying and controlling weeds, track work and dabbling in landscaping are some of the activities they list. "Hard core manual labor" Chris says.

The pair tell me about seed collecting adventures to Fortescue Bay, Lauderdale, Oposum Bay and Lenah Valley. During our discussions the botanical names are flowing and it is obvious they are keen to show their new skills. Chris tells me they have successfully taken cuttings of a few coastal species. I am jealous!

It hasn't all been plants and dirt though; one of the highlights for the pair was smashing up feral oysters. "We went to 'Oyster training' and then spent the day smashing ferals at Howrah Beach" Sammy-Jo said.

"It's been great for building confidence" Chris says. The team has participated in team building activities including rock-climbing with other Greencorp teams.

"We have received training in First Aid, OH & S, weed and plant identification, propagation and disability training" they say. Erin, the team leader, elaborates, "the team has completed a module where they researched suitable native plants for different settings and then designed interpretation signs". At the conclusion of the project team members receive Certificate 1 and 2 in Conservation and Land Management.

Chris is keen to get into horticulture as a result of his Greencorp work. Sammy-Jo is less sure, but is interested in landscaping and has great potential as a graphic designer. And the best part of the experience for them both, "A day at Fortescue Bay".

Photo: Green Corp team with team leader, Erin Flynn.


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