Service Opportunity Numinbah Holding Tight Project


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In partnership with Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre, Year 10 and 11 students served our community through the Holding Tight Project in Week 10, Term 3.

In local Kombumerri language, Numinbah means to 'hold tight' in reference to being a valley holding two significant mountains together. Our students  contributed to restoring a wildlife corridor between Lamington and Springbrook National Parks.

At the Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting site in Numinbah Valley, students carefully dug in 152 endemic plant species.  This took the total of trees planted to a total of 11,032 as part of this large-scale restoration project.

Back at the centre, we constructed 16 nest boxes, which will be installed in mature trees at our planting sites and support ongoing survival of hollow-dependent species.

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This project was authentic, fun, hands-on and contributes to essential habitat restoration in areas of high conservation value. We are very grateful to Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre and their project partners SEQwater for their support with high school student conservation and service learning initiatives.

Congratulations also to Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre for winning the Department of Education P&C of the Year, Environmental Sustainability and Responsibility category.

Between 2020 – 2022 the Holding Tight project has achieved the following outcomes:

  • 11,000 trees planted
  • 160 nestboxes constructed and installed
  • 390 community members involved in tree planting field days
  • 252 high school students involved in 'Numinbah - Holding Tight' project

See the reflections below from students who participated in this project.

Year 11 student, Saskia Uccellini
Participating in the Holding Tight project in week 10 of term 3 was an extremely beneficial experience for my peers and I. The opportunity to not only plant trees and build animal shelters, but also to experience being part of the QAHS community whilst doing so, was very rewarding. We started the morning by planting trees in a clearing to create a safe environment for the animals who had fled from the bushfires on either side of the mountains. This was a new experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in this activity, it was great fun to do with my friends. In the afternoon, we first had a short information session on the history of the Country and how we can take part in aiding the environment by restoring the lost biodiversity. We then were taught how to build animal shelters for the small mammals who had lost their habitats to bushfires. This was also a new experience for me and I was able to learn many practical skills such as using a power drill and woodworking. The outcomes of the holding tight project were immensely positive and I enjoyed giving back to the community and spending time with my QAHS peers. 

Year 11 student, Jordan Klos
I​n late September, my peers and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to participate in the 2022 Holding Tight Project. Not only was this project immensely beneficial for our CAS journey (contributing to all three strands of CAS), it was also a very rewarding experience that allowed us to give back to the community. The day began at the Numinbah Valley Environmental Education Centre where we first learnt about how to protect the Country and ways in which we can restore our fragile ecosystems. Following this, we planted local flora to restore the natural link between Springbrook and the Lamington National Parks. We learnt new skills and developed techniques that allowed us to plant together over 100 trees -an incredible achievement for our small group. In the afternoon, we created wildlife homes using all-natural resources to provide safety to animals that lost their habitats during the Queensland/ New South Wales fire. This unique experience opened my eyes to a new sense of gratitude as I felt a great sense of fulfillment from learning more about nature and conserving the wildlife. I would highly recommend this service activity as it allows you to see from a new perspective, undergo new challenges and experience a rewarding journey alongside your peers.

Year 10 stduents, Bianca Uccellini and Allegra Nutley​
We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had loads of fun participating in the Holding Tight Project. It was wonderful to be able to witness everyone come together to work as a team and help restore and regenerate the valley connecting Lamington National Park to the Numinbah rainforest which had been destroyed in the 2019/2020 bush fires. We started the day by planting tree saplings. This called for hydrating the pre-dug holes for the trees and employed great care when placing the trees in the ground and covering their roots with dirt. We were shown how to correctly plant the trees and optimise their chance of survival. We were able to plant 52 trees as a group and help reach the goal of 11000 trees planted since the fire. We then finished the day by building boxes for animals that had lost their homes in the fire. These were a replacement for a hollowed tree as it takes many years to form this kind of habitat. It was a very educating, interesting, and rewarding experience. We are so grateful to Numinbah Valley Education Centre for providing us with the supplies and opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of the forest whilst being able to respect the custodians of the land.

Alita Lee
Deputy Principal​

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Last reviewed 07 October 2022
Last updated 07 October 2022