In the hopes of saving an endangered Australian plant, students from Immanuel Lutheran College have ventured into the College's rainforest to tag and study the species. Year 11 students hope to one day learn how to propagate the Buderim Holly plant which is near extinction.
A recovery plan for the plant was done by the Queensland Government in 2007 and it's estimated that there are only 1,000 plants left in south-east Queensland.
Immanuel laboratory technician and scientist, Julie Neller, said the plant was important to uphold the biodiversity of species in the rainforest.
"The plant contributes to the biodiversity of the region which is about the health of the rainforest," she said.
"There was a study done that showed that the Buderim population is the most genetically diverse, so it is important that we keep this population alive for the longevity of the species.
"What the students are doing is looking at tagging individual species of the plants, measuring its height and facial circumference and taking notes on the location and wellbeing of the plant.
"This is so that we can track to see if the number of species within our rainforest is increasing, decreasing or whether it's stable.
"So, it's an activity where our students can go out, easily tag a plant, make a few measurements and that way we have yearly data so we can get an idea of how big our population is and what state it's in."
Immanuel's ECO Club Vice-President and Year 11 student, Jessica Ling, said that the Club continuously worked on keeping the College clean.
"This is a great initiative as we're trying to promote biodiversity in our community," she said.
"We're trying to tag as many of the Buderim Holly's as we can as there are less than 1,000 left due to habitat loss, so it's great that we are able to tag these and promote their revegetation."
Research shows the low population size of the Veiny Graptophyllum (the Holly) make all populations vital to the survival of the species.
In 2019, Immanuel built an environmental education centre which shows that the College take its role as stewards of the environment seriously. Teaching students how to look out for what's around them is community science in action; it inspires learning and builds community.