Contributed by Nikhil, Bachelor of Engineering
I used to receive invitations from my parents to come & join them for some valuable gardening, to which I declined because I thought to myself, ‘well, it’s not really for me’; sure I can do other chores in the house, but gardening? Yeah no thanks! It was only until I participated in Beach Care, I realised how fun planting a tree could be and how strong I am in pulling weeds.
But in all seriousness, I understood what Beach Care was really about and the value it presents in terms of protecting the environment. As part of the Griffith Mates program, Beach Care is a volunteer activity in which the Mates and current Griffith students are given the opportunity to help clean and preserve our environment; either through planting trees or picking up rubbish.
On Saturday 26th July, 10 Griffith students were given the opportunity to volunteer for Beach Care at Palm Beach, where we were joined with our coordinator Joel & other groups/visitors in the community. At the start of the session, Joel provided information on his role at Griffith University and how this type of work also helps him in his research. We were also introduced to other members that were also participating in this activity.
With formal introductions out of the way, we then proceeded with the Beach Care session itself; the next 2 hours were spent planting the trees provided and pulling out weed roots within the area. Through everyone’s efforts, all of the trees were planted and most of the weed was pulled out, with 4 bags containing all the roots.
The 2 hour session ended with a fabulous BBQ put together by Joel and other volunteers. I was also given the chance to approach a flock of seagulls for some photography and eventually provided a modelling contract to a potential seagull. Photos of the seagulls can be found on the Griffith Mates Facebook page.
All in all, Beach Care is a fantastic way of getting involved in volunteer activities and it has certainly opened up my understanding of why gardening is actually quite fun. It is also a great way to understand what can be done in order to maintain our natural surroundings. If you are free on the weekend and would like to participate in a Griffith Mates activity, then do come down to our next Beach Care session on Saturday 9th August (Week 2).