Having successfully achieved the 5 star sustainability rating, Somers school Camp can now turn it’s focus away from paper work and on to actual achievement.
Our projects have a biodiversity focus as that is a strength of our program. At the moment we have:
• Planted a 50 tree fruit and nut orchard.
• Extended the herb garden which involved relocation of our composting operation.
• Expanded the stream frontage project to include all of the lower section of the camp adjacent to Merricks Creek. Weed eradication progresses in the newly targeted areas as an important first step before revegetation.
• Frog pond has been designed and approved for funding. Earth works won’t proceed until the ground dries out as it will create to much mess and waste limited financial resources in reinstatement.
• Nocturnal enclosure has been designed and approved by school council. Funding is being sought from the Envirofund as, even though we are a state government school (4647) we were not considered eligible for Investing in Schools funding by the federal minister for education, the Hon. Julie Bishop. This is an exciting and innovative project, but will require external funding due to the expense.
• Our water audit has been done. Water harvesting will be incorporated in the renovation of the dormitory bathrooms (a major infrastructure project for the camp and long overdue).
• Solarisation of hot water for the dormitories will be part of the same renovation. Questions have been raised about the efficiency of solarising hot water at school because of the small volumes used. The residential nature of the Somers School Camp operation makes this a worthwhile project.
• Redevelopment of the camp cinema is about to start and incorporates aspects of sustainable design. This has been a challenging task, as the historic integrity of the building had to be preserved in the process.