Cyril Jackson turf project launched by students, staff and residents

Johanna Whitehurst, Zaina Abalos, Meg Ireland and Emma Slavin.
Johanna Whitehurst, Zaina Abalos, Meg Ireland and Emma Slavin.

STUDENTS and staff from Cyril Jackson Senior Campus, Ashfield Primary School and residents launched Cyril Jackson’s turf project at the newly built ArtsHouse on September 1.

The aim of the project is to investigate the amount of water needed to maintain a sustainable and functional lawn in Perth.

Urban Botanic representative Emma Slavin taught a few Ashfield students about soil improvement and worked with them to plant the childrens’ picking garden beside the lawn.

Ms Slavin, who helped with the overall landscape and garden design, said the spring garden event was a success.

“It is wonderful to see so many elements of the project coming together,” she said.

“I was particularly excited to see Cyril Jackson Mentor students working with the Ashfield Primary School students to create the children’s picking garden.

“Developing these kinds of links and connections is exactly what the project is all about.”

Ms Slavin said the lawn was reflective of a sustainable initiative.

“The Lawn will provide cooling benefits to the surrounding areas but also because of the way that the soil has been prepared use less water than normal but still remain healthy,” she said.

“The research project that the lawn is part of will be conducting a series of tests on reticulation and also soil improvement so that the public can be educated about the best most environmentally sustainable way to look after your lawn.”

Cyril Jackson teacher and ArtsHouse director Marie Molloy said many residents contributed to the lawn and the ArtsHouse.

“We have got this first planting of the picking garden and we are using that as a way of tapping into local primary schools to just let them know that this community garden is for them and we really want people to come use the space,” she said.

“In the last 18 months, the community engagement aspect has really kicked in and renovations are just about done.

“We just could not have done it without the Bassendean community.”

Ms Molloy said the ArtsHouse served as a place to stay for artists who conducted art programs at the house and for the school.

“We renovated the building but we have maintained the residential aspect of it so that we can actually offer it to international and national artists to come and live in Bassendean for free in trade for working with the community,” she said.