TO the kids of Spearwood Alternative School, the small patch of bush tucked away behind their classrooms is a wondrous playground full of secret cubbies and shy quenda.
But their efforts to maintain and beautify Piara, as they call it, are being hampered by hoons practicing their drifting and tradies dumping daily loads of rubble from nearby building sites. A council contractor got in on the act after installing a new playground in a neighbouring park, dumping left-over turf and rubble on top of bushes the kids had planted.
“We learn a lot inside Piara as well as have fun,” said Jack from the school’s year 3/4 class.
“We have grown trees and plants and they are all native Australian plants. There has been constant people not using their initiative and driving their cars straight through Piara and destroying the bushland.”
The kids have tried to educate the grown-ups about the site’s importance, putting up signs and making makeshift roadblocks with rocks and branches, but the hoons mow down the signs and simply swerve around the barriers, making new scars along the way.
Jack’s classmate Anouk lives across the road, and recently her family took photos of the hoons.
“They smashed down the sign and they were playing cricket up by the toilets, and we took photos of their number plates.
“It’s very upsetting because it’s a wonderful bushland where we learn and have so much fun,” she says.
“I have had enough of it,” says Megan.
“We have got their number plate and we would hate to bring this further, but if they continue we will be forced to tell the police.”
Anouk goes further, saying the kids want an apology in return for their silence.
Class teacher Craig Murphy says the school surveyed the land and realised its boundary was a lot bigger than expected, and it’s given the kids a renewed zest to restore the bushland and use it as a backyard science lab. Mr Murphy says that’ll be difficult unless locals start respecting the site.
by STEVE GRANT