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“It’s a bad day to be an olive.” – Joshua Ledger

On Sunday 19 March, fourteen Howard House students from Years 8 to 12 travelled to Carrickalinga to support the House charity, The Forktree Project. The charity’s goal is to return a degraded 133-acre former pastoral property back to nature. This involves re-establishing tens of thousands of native trees and shrubs on the property, which will in turn bring back native animals, insects and birds as well as sequester tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon.

On the day, our aim was to support the project’s mission of “re-wilding” the property by readying the land for planting in the cooler months. The students were initially tasked with eradicating olive trees as they attract kangaroos which damage the native plant species the team have worked tirelessly to plant. With pickaxe and hoe in hands, the boys faced off against their Goliath and worked together to bring down their pesky opponent.

In 2019, when the property was first purchased, owners Tim and Elizabeth were faced with the massive challenge of reusing the building waste that had been dumped on the land. Conscious of the carbon footprint everything leaves behind, and the fact that each year 1.5 trillion bricks are made worldwide, Tim and Elizabeth needed to repurpose over 30 000 bricks. So, while half the boys accompanied Tim as he weeded the property, the other half were tasked with removing unwanted mortar from the remaining 12 000 bricks that are yet to find a home on the property. Determined to get through as many as bricks as possible, the boys were able to restore over 300 bricks so they are ready to be used on the property.

The group worked tirelessly throughout the day, representing the School and the House with pride, while living up to our House motto of “Deeds not Words”. We all look forward to returning to the property in the cooler months, taking on new challenges to support the project which has become so important to us.

Christine Iadanza
Head of Howard House