Plants on first line of defence

Zach RelphSouth Western Times

Thousands of seedlings were planted along Koombana Drive last week in a bid to protect the Leschenault Inlet from stormwater run-off.

Bunbury Senior High School students, involved in the school’s Shed Works program, planted the seedlings at the “rain garden” on Thursday as part of an ongoing labour-intensive project at the site.

With the help of Bunbury City Council officers, the students carefully placed seedlings at the garden in between Koombana Drive and the newly developed footpath.

Council engineering technical officer Asher Woodward said the garden used “the biological and physical function of plants and soil microbiology” to remove pollutants.

Mr Woodward said it would filter pollutants in stormwater run-off from the busy road, including rubbish, sediment and excess nutrients which could impact the waterway and its wildlife.

The Koombana Drive rain garden is a Water Sensitive Urban Design initiative spearheaded by the South West Catchments Council.

The organisation is using the program to work with local governments to protect environmentally sensitive waterways throughout the South West.

Bunbury Senior’s Shed Work students also helped with the landscaping efforts at Wally Crowd Reserve along Koombana Drive earlier this month.

Program coordinator Paul McKenzie said it was strenuous but rewarding work the students enjoyed doing.

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