Excerpt taken from ‘The Border Times’, Wednesday 15th January 2014
Lameroo Regional Community School is one of 15 schools or community groups across Australia who have discovered an area identified as needing a green makeover will get fresh turf in the New Year – for free.
This is the second year of the Perfect Patch of Green initiative between peak body Turf Australia and Junior Landcare.
Prior to LRCS being selected, local grower The Turf Farm undertook a site visit to ensure the area could be successfully turfed.
The Turf Farm is donating the turf to Lameroo Community School and will also lay the turf, ensuring the success and longevity of the lawn.
Lameroo Regional Community School will receive turf over an area of 235 square metres outside the new performing arts centre, and the students will use this area for relaxation and ball games.
The recent fire in the school has led to much of the playground being in poor condition from construction work on the burnt buildings.
“The area ear marked for new turf is near the new Performing Arts Centre, which is accessed by visiting schools, Kindergarten students and families as well as local people, for performances given by visiting artists and music and drama productions performed by the students,” said school spokesperson Carissa Coleman.
“The students will all have access to the area for relaxation as well as ball and other games during breaks from lessons.
“The area is adjacent to the gymnasium, so sports equipment is easily accessible.
“The other areas adjacent to this which the students are able to access in break times are all hard cement surfaces, not conductive to relaxing and group activities.
“It will be a great area for small groups to have quiet picnic type get togethers at lunch and recess breaks.
“Staff could also utilise the area for small group activities, quiet reading, individual study and small discussion groups during lesson time.”
Anthony Muscat, president and board member of Turf Australia and owner of Greener Lawn, said coverings not only increase appreciation of the outdoors and improve health outcomes, but can also have sustainability benefits.
“Turf Australia is committed to making a positive difference to school environments by supporting schools and youth groups that would like to utilise turf as natural grass coverage.” Mr Muscat said.
“Turf has many environmental benefits – it is one of the best methods of soil erosion control, provides filtration for air and water, and has great cooling properties.
“Ashphalt on a hot day can be 20 degrees Celsius above natural turf, and synthetic surfaces have been recorded with temperatures so hot, they can burn feet.”
Landcare Australia CEO Tessa Jakszewicz said the partnership with Turf Australia would mean that 30 schools nationwide now have much-needed beautiful green areas.
It is hoped this will encourage exercise, reduce erosion and increase appreciation of the local natural environment.