Port Augusta West students build nesting boxes

ENVIRONMENT: Port Augusta West Primary School students Marin, Jordan, Noah, Kayden, Kale, Ryder, and Pastoral Care Worker John Bethell.
ENVIRONMENT: Port Augusta West Primary School students Marin, Jordan, Noah, Kayden, Kale, Ryder, and Pastoral Care Worker John Bethell.

Students from Port Augusta West Primary School (PAWPS) have chipped in to help maintain the safety of birds in the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden by building wooden nesting boxes.

About five nesting boxes constructed by Year 4/5 students have been installed at Arid Lands in the new Kids’ Adventure Garden.

Students built the nesting boxes, as well as bird feeders, coffee tables and a billy cart as part of a woodwork mentoring group coordinated by the school’s Pastoral Care Worker John Bethell.

Dr Bethell said it was a fun project for students and a chance to contribute to the community.

“It’s a good opportunity for the kids to do something that involves working with their hands, building skills in handling tools, problem solving, and learning about collaboration and developing social skills at the same time,” he said.

PAWPS Principal Roy Winther said the woodwork mentoring sessions with Dr Bethell gave students the opportunity to discuss and explore a range of topics in a non-threatening atmosphere.

“Students enjoy the opportunity to work with a positive male role model to solve structural challenges,” he said.

The idea to supply the nesting boxes to Arid Lands was put forward by student Noah Szanto following a school excursion to the location last year.

Noah said he made the suggestion because “there are lots of animals” at the Arid Lands and the boxes would enable birds to “have their babies in there without them dying”.

He enjoyed learning about birds and the environment while working together with his friends.

“We did the bird boxes every Tuesday. We had to cut up the wood that we needed and drill the pieces together,” he said. “It was lots of fun.”