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The ‘Green Go Getters’ Urban Spaces Project

Year 4 students Indi, Juliette, Archi, Elsa, Anika and Zoe reflect on the success of their 'Making a Difference' Project. Students were invited to respond to authentic problems and take action in the community. This was an opportunity to apply their learning to the real world. Working in collaborative groups, the students identified and investigated an issue. They generated solutions and then implemented an action plan to address the problem.

During Term 3, a group of Year 4 students called the Green Go Getters embarked on a project to create more green spaces in Ivanhoe. We thought it was a great opportunity because we are all interested in nature and trying to make a difference in the local community. We eventually decided to redesign an existing park called Banksia Reserve. The reserve is located in Eaglemont and is accessible from Sherwood Lane and Banksia Street. It cannot be seen from a major road. It has no existing facilities, playground equipment, seating or bins. This park is barely used and many local residents don’t even know it’s there.

Working with John Walkley

John Walkley is the president of Friends of Eaglemont. He was very helpful throughout the project and mentored us well. He took us on a nature walk and we found a deserted green area named Banksia Reserve. We decided that it was the perfect place to redesign because it was wasted space and locally unknown. Even some of the council members didn’t realise it was there! With the help of John, we got to know the place more. He helped us to find a location for each plant depending on the climate and if they prefer shade or sunlight. John also taught us lots about local history, plants and animals. We owe John a lot!

Our Proposal

We wanted the park to be accessible and inviting for all community members. We had to change our plan several times so that it would be perfect and accommodate children, parents and the elderly. The final proposal included: signs, seating and shelter, native trees and plants, bins, a book exchange, a wooden playground and fairy garden. 

Meeting Alida McKern

Alida is a member of Banyule Council and a professional Landscape Architect who works in urban planning. We invited her to visit us to see our project and consider our proposal. After we presented our 3D model and PowerPoint, she thought it was a good idea and she said that she would talk to the other council members about our proposed project. A few weeks later, Alida emailed us and gave us the news that she wanted us to present our ideas to the other council members, Mayor and council CEO.

Year 4 Students with Alida McKern

Banyule Council Meeting

When the Green Go Getters visited the council we were all excited. We were first led to the council chambers and the room where we were having our meeting. We each presented our speeches and showed our model of the park. The council asked us lots of questions and gave us feedback that our plan was well-thought-out, cost-effective and achievable. They are interested in working with us to develop our ideas further.

Year 4 Students with Banyle Council Representatives

The next step in our project is to meet with the council Open Spaces Director and develop a formal budget for submission. We have really enjoyed participating in this project so far and we are very excited to see where it leads!

Indi, Juliette, Archi, Elsa, Anika and Zoe
2022 Year 4 Students