In 2018, the folks at Newcastle Waldorf School set out to create a bush tucker garden.
But two years later, the space is not just your ordinary school plot.
The interactive space is home to a plethora of Indigenous plants which are used in cooking classes, science lessons and more.
The idea came about when parent Jarn Hodgson mentioned building an Aboriginal Bora Ring to the Steiner school's Indigenous Cultural Group.
"My ears pricked up and I thought we could do that as a class and extend it into a garden," teacher Jeremy Robinson said.
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Students were involved in the whole process of the project - planning, researching plants, building steps and putting in mulch.
"They did all of the hard yakka," Mr Robinson said.
The space, which Mr Robinson refers to as an Indigenous Resource Garden, incorporates edible plants, medicinal plants and plants that have been used to create Aboriginal tools. Mr Robinson said when some of the plants are more established, he also hoped to used them for woodwork and textile lessons.
"I knew plants were used for food purposes, but it's helped us learn how to utilise our surroundings and how important the environment is," Year 9 student Jenbae McIlroy said.
Every student from kindergarten to Year 12 also has their own plant to look after and be responsible for in the garden, and when the student graduates, they will pass on that knowledge to younger students.
"The young ones don't know a lot about their plants, but as they get older and reach high school they learn more like the taxonomic name and gain more academic knowledge about it," Mr Robinson said.
Mr Robinson said the school had also embedded story into the garden lessons, to teach the students more about Indigenous culture.
The garden was funded through grants from Lake Macquarie City Council and the NSW Environmental Trust.
Mr Robinson said before the garden was established, the area was overgrown and full of weeds. Now, as well as being an accessible resource for the school, it's also home to a variety of birds, bees and wildlife.
"We're very, very happy with it," he said. "It's just a beautiful space to come down into now."
Mr Robinson said the garden had also been a great teaching tool, as it allowed the students to learn about nature in a hands on, interactive way.
"Kids walk around with a stick and whack a tree," he said. "We want to create a stronger awareness of the environment around them, that plants are integral to the survival of people and animals, not just something for them to whack."
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