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While Canberrans were celebrating Canberra Day, just across the border students from The Anglican School Googong and their families were hard at work creating a new sanctuary to protect the vulnerable Glossy Black Cockatoo.

Together, they started planting trees on the highest hill overlooking the new Googong township. The hill, known as Nangi Pimble by its traditional Ngunawal landowners, provides a panoramic view across Googong and will be home to the town’s new water supply reservoirs.

Over the next four years, more than 3000 trees will be planted in a four hectare reserve that is being created to provide a passive recreation and educational space for the community and a salute to the area’s rich Aboriginal heritage.

The initial tree planting includes native species like the Drooping She-oak, the primary food source for the Glossy Black Cockatoo which is part of the school’s logo, and gum trees that will provide nesting habitat in the future.

The Denby Family was one of the first to pitch in as students from School rolled up their sleeves to help plant trees in celebration of the school’s annual Founders’ and Grandparents Day when they focus on their community.

Jacob (9) was in Year One when the school opened. This year he is part of the school’s first Year four class.

His parents Simon and Kathryn Denby and grandparents Reg and Norma Gee, from Watson, are regular volunteers at the school which is an important contributor with close ties to the new community.

“The school is inspirational,” Simon said. “The parents all want to be involved, not just for the good of their own child, but for the good of the school and the rest of the community.

“Even though it’s getting bigger all the time, the school still feels like a family – more like a close knit community of friends which is something you don’t often get in a bigger, more structured environment.”

The Denby family moved from their 250 acre farm at Bungendore so they could be more involved and juggle school activities with the pressure of two busy fulltime jobs.

After the tree planting, the Year 3 and 4 students joined the rest of the school community for fun, games and morning tea with visiting parents and grandparents, followed by a family picnic.