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Visiting Central Islands to work with communities on environmental programs

The Torres Strait Regional Authority’s George Saveka recently travelled to the Central Island cluster of Poruma, Iama and Warraber to work with Rangers and My Pathway participants, schools and local communities on gardening and regeneration projects.

Mr George Saveka, has been working closely with the Central Island’s Rangers to assist with their gardening programs and revegetation activities in order to share this knowledge with the community.

The gardening and regeneration programs are presented to schools and community groups in order to promote horticulture skills and knowledge, whilst providing information on the environmental and health benefits of gardening and the rewards of eating their own homegrown produce.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said that gardening and bush regeneration programs were an important part of educating communities on the importance of sustainable practices.

“The TSRA Rangers and partner agency, My Pathway, are helping to develop community gardens so that the local communities can become sustainable including our backyard gardens,” Mr Stephen said.

“The revegetation program is a long-term project, with the collection of seeds to produce seedlings and eventually establishing mature trees, which will benefit the local environment and the people of the islands.

“Some of the islands don’t have nurseries to establish the plants in, but they can now work with other stakeholders like My Pathway and local schools to support these activities in community, in schools and through other networks.

“The programs are an effective way to continually improve the skills of our Rangers, such as introducing them to techniques like ‘air-layering’ where roots are developed around a branch of a tree.

“This process can take some time but will develop the branch to become a tree on its own.”

“School presentations are an important part of the program were the local Rangers work with our schools to deliver environmental management and gardening lessons at regular intervals throughout the year.

“The aim of the presentations is to keep the students active in sustainable practices and to support the ongoing gardening activities in their ‘Horticulture in School’ program.”

George Saveka’s Gardening Tips on what to grow in February:

Capsicum, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, lettuce, silver beet, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, cape gooseberry, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, summer herbs, melons, onions, rosella, tomatoes and zucchinis.

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