From little things, big things grow ...

IT started with a garden bed.

Taree High School year 11 students spotted a barren area under a large tree that needed a makeover. Large, exposed roots, poor soil ... it was the perfect patch for making an impact in the inaugural Tidy Up Taree Day Youth Challenge.

Project co-ordinator Diana Silcock, said the staff and students were enjoying the area and the momentum the project had created for more students to improve other areas of the school.

"It started with a garden bed. The plan was to regenerate the area around the tree that had been neglected and heavily impacted by student foot traffic," Diana said.

"After the garden bed was finished the students looked at the table area and thought it would be good to repaint the tables, then they looked at the poles and thought we should paint those too!

"The impetus has been with the students to do more. So now they have painted 12 of the 30 poles in the outdoor area a pale blue colour and will progressively stencil patterns to complement the art that is on the Koorie Resource Centre."

She said Mal Chapman of Mal's Paint Place in Taree supported the school initiative by giving them a "huge discount" on 12 litres of Solarguard paint and in coming months, the school tables will be stripped and then painted.

"They are all really nice kids and it has enabled the students to develop their team-building skills," Diana explained.

Student, Cody Hodges said he had enjoyed working on the project "because I'm making it better for next year's students. It's also great that we are part of Tidy Up Taree."

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