In 2017, the LLL provided $105,000 in ‘earthcare’ grants to Lutheran Education Australia to be used for environmental projects within Lutheran schools.
One school that was successful in winning a grant was Our Saviour Lutheran School in Aberfoyle Park, South Australia. Principal Robert Sellars and his team of teachers, students, parents and volunteers embarked on a project to create a nature play area that linked local indigenous culture to the Christian perspective of God as creator.
A guided tour of the new Kaurna Garden by the four student leaders unveiled a myriad of ways the garden is being utilised. The younger students in Years 2 to 5 love to run around the garden, climbing on all the stones and logs. The children also love to build teepees with large sticks, and have competitions as to who can build the biggest. Older students use the area as a great place to sit and talk around the (unlit) fire pit. It’s also a great place to play chasey as there are fantastic hiding spots. In addition, the garden boasts an island surrounded by pebbles, which during the rainy months of winter will fill up with water that naturally congregates in that area of the school grounds. Then the island will be accessible by a line of large rocks.
The Kaurna Garden is not only a place of play. Students can also learn a lot about local indigenous culture. In the second phase of development, native flora will be planted and grown, which will be used to teach students about bush tucker, tools and weapons, weaving, bush tea, music and ceremony, and medicine plants. The Kaurna Garden aims to teach students that they are the custodians of the land which is provided to us by God. Staff also use the area, and the first staff devotion for 2018 was held here earlier in the year.
Our Saviour’s Kaurna Garden was made possible by student and parent involvement, community support, and grants and sponsors, including the LLL earthcare grant.
Special thank you to student leaders Teigan, Hayley, April and Michael for showing me around - Tamara Millard