Australian natives the right choice

INDIGENOUS elder Burnie Johnson is planning to take the message about growing native plants to school students.

Mr Johnson will get his campaign going with a talk to students at Moore Park Beach State School about the importance of using Australian plants in their gardens.

"I'm going to have a talk to the kids about the importance of these plants to indigenous people," he said.

"It's important that we grow native plants in our gardens so the birds and the butterflies can feed on them, when they can't on many of the imported plants."

He said many people did not realise how attractive some native flowering plants could be.

Mr Johnson said he had first approached the school about his project three months ago, and had already had a look at a couple of spots in the school grounds where a native garden could be established.

"I thought we would concentrate on the Year 3 and 4 kids because they're going to be there for a few more years and they'll get the benefits of the garden," he said. Mr Johnson had already started collecting plants for the garden.

"We've already got some lilly pillies and we might look at planting a macadamia," he said.

"It is a long-term project."

Mr Johnson said he had established a similar garden at Thabeban State School some time ago.

"The kids do tend to get involved," he said.

"Maybe when they grow up they will remember this and plant some native plants in their own gardens."

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