Project summaries - 2006 Eco Schools grants
Abbotsford Public School
Exploratory garden number 2
The project aims to create an outdoor learning area in the K-2 section of the school. The area will include a water tank, 4 areas devoted to differing (drought hardy) native plant species as well as an area set aside as a planting/propagation area to link to the Stage 1 Science Unit 'Earth and Its Surroundings'. The outdoor learning area will also be available for student use and exploration at lunchtimes. The initial design for this project was contributed by a student with a final location determined by parent and teacher input. Student technology leaders (Year 6) will begin work on the school's virtual library of native flora and fauna found on our school site.
Armidale City Public School
ACPS outdoor learning area
Armidale City Public School (ACPS) will create an area within our school that will encourage students and teachers to learn more about environmental issues. The area, being outdoors, will be an extension of our classrooms, where our students will be encouraged to take ownership roles. While utilising the area, teachers will apply numerous curriculum outcomes from all key learning areas, making the area a true multi-stage, multi-disciplinary functioning learning area. Students will be involved in planning, design, construction, planting, evaluation and maintenance of the area. The area will be planted with a range of native plants and grasses, have areas to sit and study, while at the same time offer hidden vistas to explore in imaginative play. By planting an assortment of native gardens it is envisaged that we will maintain habitats to attract a variety of indigenous animals native to our area.
Austinmere Public School
Environmental sensory garden and outdoor learning facility
Our outdoor learning facility, frog ponds and sensory garden project is a program designed to develop student awareness of a variety of environmental issues incorporating a 'hands on' approach. Our aim is to develop an area within the school that would allow easy access for students to experience first hand the large variety of native plants that grow in our area. We aim also to create a series of frog ponds that would be the basis of science lessons where students are able to develop a greater understanding of life cycles. This area would provide an ongoing program where students and community members would combine to care for the plants, gain an understanding of how to establish and maintain areas which would encourage a habitat for native animals and allow students to become familiar with the names of our natives through means of signage. This project would link in with our worm farms that are already established, provide another area that our Bushcare community volunteers would oversee and provide first hand knowledge to students in science, English and art experiences. We would also like to call upon the services of WIRES to provide the students with knowledge and understanding of the fauna that would be attracted to our area.
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Bega High School
Paper use audit at Bega High School
Bega High Environmental Committee co-ordinated a paper recycling and re-use program that was introduced in 2004 as a result of a waste audit conducted by students at the school. Each school week, on average, eight 240 litre bins of paper are recycled. Because the amount of paper being recycled has been increasing the committee has recognised that we may not be reducing the amount of paper used in the school which is an objective contained in our SEMP. Currently the committee is designing a comprehensive paper audit to identify the volumes and weights of paper purchased by the school, how it is being used in different areas of the school and how much is being recycled or re-used. Based on the results of this audit there will be an educational program developed for members of the school community to encourage more responsible attitudes towards the use of paper.
Bellambi Public School
Recycling station and SEMP store
The project will set up a recycling station and SEMP storage area in a disused toilet block. It will involve removing 5 toilet systems and blocking off the water line and water outlets; the removal of 2 troughs and blocking off the water line and water outlets; the removal of the cubicle doors and lock hardware; converting the cubical doors into bench tops; fabricating and installing garden tool racks and installing a laundry tub utilising existing plumbing connections. When complete, the daily recycling of all classroom and canteen generated waste will be able to be carried out in an environment built for this purpose replacing the temporary situation that exists today. This project will also link with the construction of a number of compost bays outside this particular building and adjacent garden. This is being funded by the school. The recycling station will double as a SEMP store and will allow for the storage of all SEMP equipment in one central location.
Bethany's Backyard commenced in 2006 with the installation of a 10,000 litre rainwater tank and the purchase of 4 herb gardens, which each cleverly contain a small garden at standing height, above a worm farm in the one attractive relocatable timber unit. A compost bin and worm fertiliser will be used to provide nutrients for the herb gardens from green waste collected in the kitchen so that plants can continue to be grown for use in the TAS kitchen and Science labs. The reduction of garbage and water usage, the reuse of plant material for the kitchen, science labs and companion planting, will continue to provide a working model of water and resources conservation which students can apply in their own homes. Bethany College hopes to be able to continue to be a school community with a global conscience that informs the way it manages its own environment, and a place where learning about sustainable development is real, colourful, tasty and fun!
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Blayney High School
Blayney High School environmental education project
This is the first phase of a broader project. Our goal, in this phase, is to develop the infrastructure to sustain student/teacher involvement in developing and maintaining an interest in our natural school environment. Our ultimate aim is to extend this project into a community partnership with our local Landcare group. Our Landcare group is very keen to develop a sustainable partnership.
Bonnells Bay Public School
Us little fella's can make a difference
The school is proposing a project that will benefit and enhance environmental education, literacy and numeracy and provide an outdoor education resource. The project is a bush tucker garden that will educate the school community about the local environment, traditional Aboriginal lifestyles and provide habitats for the local native flora and fauna. The project will educate students about environmental issues and what we can do to identify and prevent environmental problems. The garden will be built on an area that has suffered erosion over a period of time (the erosion problem has now been addressed) and there is a huge need to transform the area to a valuable and usable environmental education resource such as a bush tucker garden.
Carlton Public School
No dig gardens
A no-dig garden is a garden above ground made up of layers of organic matter that rot down into a nutrient rich soil. Carlton Public School has many garden areas, but none which provide space for children to grow plants themselves. The no-dig garden will provide opportunities for students to be involved in the planning, creation, planting, care and harvesting processes. A no-dig garden is a perfect way to create a new garden in a school because there is no heavy labour involved. It is suitable for the heavy clay soil and can be built on top of grass without having to remove it first. The construction of such a garden will promote learning about environmental issues by providing an area in which students can directly observe changes and use the produce. It will stabilise the soil and prevent runoff into stormwater drains and provide an invaluable resource for teaching science, environmental and health education. Worms are an essential part of a no-dig garden, and will populate the area naturally and aerate the layers. Students will take responsibility for the planting and ongoing maintenance of the garden.
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Castlereagh Public School
Castlereagh Public School is a heritage school of NSW. It's history dates to the original Macquarie town settlements. Being proud of our past, we have a community that support one another and have a love of the land. Our project is to develop a water-wise sensory garden as part of our outdoor education area, which is under construction. This garden will be the focus of developing student understanding of biodiversity whilst assisting a new member of our student body, assessed as legally blind and diagnosed with albinism. Our current construction of seating under a shade cover and the building of a new sandpit under another shade shelter will be linked by the garden, allowing our students to meander through an environment rich in smells and textures. The use of an irrigation drip system will continue to promote aspects of our 2006 SEMP which focuses on water conservation across the school. Through establishing this garden we hope to produce the focal point for developing student understanding of biodiversity in a mini environment situation.
Clarence Town Public School
Water - way to go
Our school has had a major building and refurbishment program. The removal of demountable classrooms and changes in the school landscape have resulted in areas that would be suitable for the establishment of learnscapes. A school committee, involving teachers, parents and students, has been established to plan and implement the development of the learnscapes, including; garden areas for vegetables and herbs and citrus trees, propagation area, recycling and compost area, worm farm, weather station, shade area and a native plant regeneration area. These areas will become the responsibility of specific class groupings, with the students experiencing all areas during their years of primary education. Applications for funding for the various learnscapes will be through a variety of agencies, as well as being supported through donations from the local community groups. The specific project will involve the installations of a rain water tank that will be linked to the citrus orchard and vegetable and herb garden.
Clunes Public School
Bringing the Big Scrub to Clunes
Clunes is a small village located geographically in the centre of the Big Scrub rainforest area. Most of this has been cleared, but there are local remnants adjacent to the school and larger pockets in the vicinity. This project connects the Big Scrub to the school and will develop the children's understanding of the value of rainforests and remnant protection. It is important to make the Big Scrub real for the school community by undertaking their own rainforest regeneration project.
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Collector Public School
The anniversary arboretum - a living, learning celebration!
In 2006 Collector Public School celebrates its 140th anniversary. Our anniversary arboretum will use tree plantings to describe a journey through history, from the Aboriginal traditions of this 'Singing Country' of Weerewa and the Gandangera people through to the introduction of European heritage and traditions, to the respect and admiration we now show to the water efficient and dry land adaptive trees of the Australian landscape. In an area laid bare by playground renovations we will plant and construct an area that commemorates our island continent and the different influences upon it throughout its long history, and will serve as both a shelter and learning space for future generations at the school. Water tanks and a drip irrigation system connected to new playground structures will provide an efficient watering system for the arboretum, demonstrating the importance of water efficiency in our playground management.
Como West Public School
No dig garden
The project is to set up a 'no dig' garden to grow vegetables and herbs for the canteen and the school community. The school has very shallow sandy soil with a lot of sandstone just below the surface. By setting up 'no dig' gardens it will demonstrate that plants can be grown successfully using only natural products and a minimal amount of water. A 'no dig' garden is built by making a border out of timber or any old cupboard or other suitable object that can act as a border. Next a layer of newspaper is spread on the ground followed by a layer of lucerne. This provides the nutrients for the plants. Next a layer of straw is spread as a mulch to keep in moisture. Small holes are dug into the lucerne and filled with potting mix. This is where the seedlings are planted. They are watered with a watering can. A small garden has been trialled by my class and it has been growing well.
Condell Park High School
Active reduction of environmental destruction
Year 7 students in the school have been involved in some eco-footprint activities where they realised that the school's eco-footprint was far too high (over 5 hectare) and that we would need 5 earths if we continued to live in this way. They arrived at this conclusion by being involved in keeping an ecological attitude journal and participating in some web based surveys about eco-footprints. The students then developed a plan of action which has three stages: the information stage, the action stage, and the permanent action stage. In the first stage, students identified areas of improvement through audits. In the second stage, energy saving practices were put into place. These included signs in classrooms reminding teachers to turn off lights, fans, computers and heaters, recycle paper, participate in StreamWatch, use mulch on existing plants and choose Australian natives that are water efficient when new planting was being completed, using mops and buckets and brooms instead of hosing to clean. The students are now ready to implement stage 3 which involves permanent structures such as; triphosphor tubes instead of fluorescent ones, water flow reduction devices, water harvesting systems and solar panels.
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Corowa Public School
Our learnscape shelter: observing riparian land - river floodplain
Construct an outdoor learnscape shelter so students and the community can interact with a riparian environment which adjoins the school. This degraded parkland environment is being restored by the school and community groups to create a learnscape. One part of the restoration project involves clearing exotic plants and replanting with suitable natives. The proposed shelter will enable this learnscape to be used year round.
Dora Creek Public School
Student empowerment through environmental education
Our aim at Dora Creek Public School is to consolidate our school stakeholders' thoughts from awareness to embedded attitudes and actions. We aim to move from raising awareness to changing hearts and minds. Through press releases, dedicated days, prominent school and community displays, working with our school promotion team and by entering competitions our students will realise that they can become empowered members of society. Under staff leadership, the Green Group will work with the visual literacy team to enhance and broaden their work. Green Group will speak at assemblies and will have representatives on SRC. Green Group have a real cause to which they have shown devotion above and beyond since inception. What they now need is resources so they can promote and work towards their aims. They need their teacher trained more fully. They need money - to set up herb and veggie gardens, to pay for printing and publishing monthly 'enviro' newsletters and to have a budget so they can decide how to go about fundraising activities.
Dorrigo High School
Dorrigo High School 50th year anniversary garden
The School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the Student Environment Council is constructing a garden to celebrate the occasion. The project will be designed by students in year 10 from the Student Environment Council. The project will integrate a pathway that will have inscriptions of past and present students on them. The pathway will meander through the garden and there will be seating for students to sit and have their lunch with bins provided for waste. A time capsule will be buried in the garden with a plaque celebrating the achievement. We want to achieve a legacy that represents teaching and learning by students at Dorrigo High School over the past 50 years. We plan to create a garden with sleepers creating raised garden beds and plant colourful natives such as dwarf bottlebrush and grevilleas to attract bird life.
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Fairfield West Public School
Sustainable foods and healthy eating at Fairfield West Public School
Support unit classes require a nutrition program based on the produce from a school garden. Living skills are an integrated aspect of the program offers to all students in the Support Units at FWPS. This includes hands on making - establishing a garden, purchases for the garden and cooking lessons. The school community wants to reduce waste. The school aims to implement a recycling program to use scrap from our canteen to compost for the garden. The Student Representative Council has identified recycling as a priority to improve rubbish in the playground and classrooms. Paper and containers from the canteen and classrooms will be used in composting and propagation of seeds for the garden.
Fairy Meadow Demonstration School
Learning and play gardens for Fairy Meadow Demonstration School
After the return of the Environmental Scholarship recipient in term 3 (project co-ordinator), dissemination of the findings and subsequent planning in consultation with experts, parents and community, teachers and students our project will firstly focus on the redesign and rehabilitation of an area on the south side of the school that is at present little used. After initial clearing we will have the opportunity to re-establish the area with additional native plants to create an interactive outdoor learning and play area. This will encourage the biodiversity of the area, providing habitats for flora and fauna species threatened by local urban development. In an adjacent currently un-utilised area, the school community is planning to develop a multicultural food garden with the assistance of the local community. Development of this area will provide an outdoor working and learning area that is a practical demonstration of healthy living and eating. Creating a real life context for meaningful, experiential learning for students, teachers and involved members of the local community.
Forster Public School
Forster Public School - 'We dig our veggie garden'
Forster Public School is aiming for an integrated approach to environmental management and health education by developing a fruit and vegetable garden within the school grounds. The whole-of-school project involves all K-6 students and special needs students, in addition to teachers and parents. The veggie garden will provide an avenue for combining curriculum-based and experimental learning about the environment, sustainable ecosystems, food and nutrition. This will complement other school programs such as the Healthy School Canteen Strategy, Sun Smart Policy, physical and incidental activity programs and health/nutrition aspects of the personal development, health physical education (PDHPE) curriculum.
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Girraween Public School
As part of our School Environmental Management Plan we need to establish a sustainable green school environment where strategies that promote water conservation are promoted across the school. Our school is currently like a dustbowl with the removal of many trees and shrubs for the building of new Kindergarten classrooms. Through our Student Representative Council students decided that 'Greening Girraween' should be a priority and to do this it was imperative to purchase a rain water tank before any new planting could occur. The students wanted to establish a new native garden and re plant trees for much needed shade in our 'quiet area'. Students also wanted a say in the planning and development of this new area and wanted a green space for quiet time and reflection. It was also important that this project be sustainable and not a drain on our very scarce and precious water resources.
Glenreagh Public School
SEMP planning workshops
The planning workshops project involves the development of a SEMP for Glenreagh Public School. Presently the school does not have an adequate SEMP that directs improvements to the school ground and environmental education opportunities. Consultants and workshops are to be held with Learnscape consultants to establish directions, brainstorm ideas and ensure engagement and subsequent ownership of the SEMP and associated activities by the school. These workshops are to involve the children, teachers, parents, community representatives and organisations such as the Eastern Cod Streamwatch, Glenreagh Progress Association and Landcare groups. These workshops are intended to increase environmental awareness within the school and the community by assisting the school to initiate appropriate environmental and educational improvements to the school. Out of these workshops a working party will be established comprising of representatives from all groups. This working party will continue to develop, implement and evaluate the SEMP.
Hawkesbury High School
Preserving Aboriginal heritage and our cross country track
Imagine an Aboriginal heritage site, a silcrete quarry, listed with the National Trust, in open sclerophyll woodland on a beautiful sloping site… Through this has been driven a two metre wide cross country track, an error of the bobcats of school constructors in 1989, and across the site surplus water has been drained from a sealed road one hundred metres away. The site is infested with privet as an understorey. Water has caused deep erosion through the site and the track as it climbs the slopes. Every week, for three years, fifteen or twenty student volunteers have devoted their sports afternoon to cutting privet and poisoning the stumps, and shifting tonnes of soil ten vertical metres uphill to repair erosion damage. An abattis of soil and privet loppings have halted the damage and enabled natural vegetative cover. It is now time to build the deviation to the cross country track. This will allow the Aboriginal quarry to slumber peacefully under the trees while nearby students can race each other up and down the slopes.
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Henty Public School
Henty Public School 'Fiveways Reserve habitat restoration project'
The Fiveways Reserve habitat restoration project aims to foster student's understanding of the environment as an integrated system and develop attitudes and values which are conducive to achieving ecologically sustainable development. The project will improve the school community's understanding of threatening processes affecting biodiversity, including habitat loss and fragmentation, introduced species, land management and soil degradation. This will be achieved by putting these issues into a local, practical context. The school community will be involved in planning, implementing and monitoring habitat restoration works in White Cypress Pine /Yellow Box/ Grey Box Grassy Woodland on the Fiveways Travelling Stock Reserve.
Holbrook Public School
Our new learnscape
Students at Holbrook Public want this degraded section of their school grounds to be transformed into a learnscape. The rehabilitation of this area, which is centrally located and adjacent to four classrooms, the canteen, the library, the staffroom and a large play area, would become an extension to their classroom learning, boosting the prominence of their environmental studies. Students have already completed designs and secured support from Holbrook Landcare and the school P&C. In the past the school community has implemented biodiversity based projects in conjunction with the local Landcare Group and students wish to build on this opportunity. A new Learnscape will enable an increase in biodiversity, provide habitat for birds and other native species and also provide shade and a learning environment for all students. It is vital this area be transformed, as a few years ago large trees were removed and they have never been replaced. Where the trees were removed remains barren and undulating and in the summer it resembles a dustbowl. Students would have full control of this project from the design to implementation.
Hurstville Public School
Construction of raised garden bed to assist environmental education
Hurstville Public School is located in a heavily urbanised area where little, if any, natural plant communities and ecosystems exist. At the beginning of term 2, 2006, a lunchtime gardening club was established. At the initial meeting over 100 students attended and showed interest in all aspects of up-keeping our grounds. Due to this overwhelming response the children were divided into 4 groups. One group works each Wednesday during lunchtime. The children are extremely keen to plant during their gardening time, although they are currently engaged in maintenance of previously planted areas. The grounds around our school are rather difficult to plant in as the soil is compacted and many areas were once building sites and so planting and digging for children is difficult. Services such as phone and electricity have been encountered before when tree planting was undertaken. The children are very keen to get into the soil and plant and look after plants. The idea for the raised garden bed came from discussions with the groups about what our school needs and what they want to achieve by being part of this gardening group.
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Illawarra Senior College
College nursery - shadehouse and compost bin restoration
The college nursery was constructed from 1991-1996 and included a glass house, shade house, compost bins, garden beds and hardening off areas. Students planned, funded and constructed the nursery. Significant rusting of the shade house has occurred and the compost bins also require structural repairs.
Ironbark Ridge Primary School
Breathing life into our creek - Caddies@Rouse Hill
Ironbark Ridge PUblic School is the first facility to be completed in the New Rouse Hill 'Regional Centre' (NRH) that is situated in the fast growing north west of Sydney. The NRH developers, Lend Lease/GPT have established close links with the school and have liaised to ensure that our students actively participate in and are aware of the NRH as it continues to develop. Our joint planning includes student involvement in the regeneration of Caddies Creek which runs directly adjacent to the school and which will form a key element in the green belt between the school and the commercial and residential areas. Support of this proposal would facilitate equipment and resources and give teachers and students time to plan with Baulkham Hills Shire Council and Lend Lease/GPT. Once established, our school will be able to sustain involvement through ongoing monitoring of water quality, recreational usage and raising community awareness of catchment-related issues.
Jugiong Public School
Building a native garden and outdoor learning facility
To build a native garden and outdoor learning facility at Jugoing Public School that utilises the native species of flora in the Jugiong area. This area will be maintained by the students as an ongoing senior responsibility. An area of the school will then be set aside for the continuous reproduction of seedlings to be provided to the farming community, thus encouraging native restoration.
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Kincumber Public School
Kincumba bush tucker outdoor learning area
Kincumber Public School plans to take an area of the school grounds to create an outdoor learning resource that will be used to teach students about biodiversity, Aboriginal bush tucker food and what we as a community can do to change our everyday behaviours to help sustain our environment. The area that will be created during the project is approximately 250 square metres in size and backs onto Kincumber Mountain. Walking trails will be established throughout the area and a meeting place will feature a local sandstone rock bank. This rock bank will be made up of sandstone rocks that are on the school site. Students with assistance of an Aboriginal community member will etch Aboriginal designs onto the rocks. This area will be surrounded by seating to accommodate 30 students. It is anticipated that the seating will complement the area. Students and parents will plant a diversity of native bush tucker ground covers, shrubs and trees that are native to the Kincumber area. All plants will be professionally labelled with relevant information about the plant and its bush tucker use. This product will also be complemented with a mural near the garden which relates to Aboriginal culture. This mural will feature a natural backdrop of the bush that surrounds the school.
Kororo Public School
Kororo Public School forest and frog pond regeneration project
At present Kororo Public School is experiencing rapid growth. A lot of grass on the hilly slopes of the school are worn due to foot traffic. As a result erosion and storm water runoff are a concern. Water and sediment runs from the school into stormwater drains and across neighbouring properties. Coffs Harbour City Council has had complaints from residents. Of particular concern for the school is the 'forest'. A large section of native woodland preserved from development because it is on school land. It is also suffering from the effects of foot traffic. Closing the forest to play will create crowding and further wear in other parts of the school. It is also a great place for the kids to play and explore! We plan to undertake a replanting project to control the traffic in the forest, stabilise the soil and prevent erosion and slow down the flow of water running across the school during heavy rain. We have already constructed some terraces across the slope as an immediate stop gap, following recommendations from the council. We hope to plant these with native grasses and shrubs. The school has ten ponds in the forest that are dry and no longer hold water. We plan to weed, line and replant the frog ponds so that they can catch runoff and sediment in this section of the school.
Main Arm Upper Public School
Rainforest habitat / outdoor learning area
Main Arm Upper Public School staff, students and community would like to develop an environmentally proactive school where we are committed to ensuring that environmental education is regarded as the responsibility of all. We are a small school (50 students) situated in the Brunswick Valley catchment area. We endeavour to create an outdoor learning space by rehabilitating a currently unused area into a native rainforest habitat. Students, teachers and parents will remove noxious weeds: camphor laurel, coral trees, lantana and potato vine, plant local native species, and develop identification pathways throughout the rainforest. The project will also involve students researching and designing a reference book about the plants and trees planted within the rainforest habitat area. Maps, plans, photos and information will be developed and used as a future resource for the school and its community. We aim to achieve:-
increased biodiversity and beautification of our school grounds
development of caring and responsible school citizens
improved opportunities for students, staff and community to increase understanding and commitment to environmental issues.
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Millthorpe Public School
From little things big things grow
We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic where our school children do not know where good food comes from, or even how a plant grows. We need to get our school children more active, give them a new appreciation of how plants are grown, showing them where food comes from and linking them back into our environment. To do this we want to build a school community garden where we can show our school children how to mulch, compost, sort rubbish, reduce water waste, reduce the waste of paper in our schools and learn what does belong in a natural environment. We need a place to observe mini beasts, a place to put our worm farm built out of recycled products, a growing area for vegetables and a nursery for our native plants. We want to encourage children to eat fresh vegetables, chew a bean and understand where food comes from, and how much effort is involved in food production. We want our children to learn how long it takes for a tree to grow and become animal habitat. We want our students to become active participants on a school community garden that they have helped create, manage, grow and harvest from.
Moss Vale Public School
Native Garden and Outdoor Learning Area
This project aims to create a native sensory garden area in the school grounds that can also be used as an outdoor learning area - particularly for environmental studies, and a recreation area for students to enjoy. The establishment of this garden complements the school's long term environmental plan for the school grounds and married well with the school's sunsafe policy. The principal objectives of our project relate to the study and appreciation of the environment, however, we believe there will be benefits in other learning areas as well.
Murrumburrah High School
Creating a native sensory garden in a barren playground
Our school currently has a bare patch of dirt with a memorial to a deceased student. A time capsule is also in this patch. With limited seating and fragrant planted areas, the proposal is to create an area to sit around and amongst. Students crave areas that they can call theirs. It is shaded by two old gum trees that we wish to incorporate. The area is directly outside the school canteen and the entrance the students utilise. The proposal is that the garden will greatly enhance this side of the school.
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Newbridge Heights Public School
Taking responsibility for our waste - reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse
Newbridge Heights wants to set up a comprehensive waste management system to enable us to reduce the amount of waste produced by the school community and improve our recycling of paper, cardboard, plastics and green waste. Three large skips of 'rubbish' are taken to the tip weekly - through our improved recycling plan, incentives for students to reduce waste and opportunities for the school community to reuse items that used to be thrown away, we will reduce the number of skips of rubbish in the first year to 3 a fortnight. We want a best practice approach to waste management that integrate the curriculum and waste conscious school operations in order to install the philosophy of 'reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse' within our school community. We want to encourage students to reduce and reuse before they consider recycling - seeing the throwing away of rubbish as a last resort that is not helping our planet. We will introduce a low waste lunch day, compost bins, worm farms, reducing and reusing and an improved paper recycling service. This will be achieved through involving the students in looking after their environment.
Nords Wharf Public School
Bushland regeneration and rejuvenation for all
At present, at the rear of our school, on NSW DET land, there is an area of bushland which has become infested with lantana, pampas grass and other non native plants. This area also has a substantial amount of undergrowth which is a bush fire risk. At present there are three paths which allow students access to school grounds and parents and students access to the preschool. This area is bounded by the school on one side, residents and a preschool on another, and a main thoroughfare on another. This area is only used by the school for our annual cross country. At times this area has been used by people to dump garden cuttings and household rubbish. Our aim is to turn this area into a useable, safe place which is an example of plants native to our area, becoming more accessible to all stakeholders and provide for ongoing environmental educational opportunities for our students.
Northlakes Public School
Establishing native gardens in the school grounds
The project aims to establish native gardens on the perimeter of the grounds at the rear entrance to the school. The gardens will consist of native shrubs and grasses that will create an ecosystem appropriate for native birds. The population of Indian Myna birds has rapidly increased and we need to encourage native birds back into the school using bird attracting plants. The native garden will also control rainwater runoff in the area, helping to reduce erosion within the school grounds and behind the school. Raised garden beds and the addition of mulch will help to minimise runoff. Students will be involved in planting of the natives, learning about the importance of using natives to attract birds, to control erosion and to reduce the need for watering and weeding with the use of mulch. This project will enable teachers to engage students in the curriculum in a practical and relevant way.
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Plumpton House SSP
Rainwater supply tank for gardens in education program
Plumpton House SSP has embarked on a project to introduce horticulture and botanical studies to Years 9 and 10. In the introductory phase students have been focussing on the creation of a low water requirement garden on the western side of the campus. Two other gardens have already been established within the school grounds. These have proved successful and this success has provided stimulus to our students and staff to plan further gardens and a greenhouse. We wish to emphasise the concepts of sustainability and low environmental impact in our garden studies and therefore wish to apply for a grant under the Eco Schools Program 2006 for the purchase and installation of a rainwater tank.
Port Macquarie High School
Bushtucker interactive garden and outdoor classroom
Creating a sustainable bush food garden which will also be used as an outdoor learning area. Provide an area which will be used by all key learning areas and which will be further utilised during specific designated periods of Indigenous importance e.g. food source for food technology, geography, history, agriculture, science, Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day, Welcoming, parent school partnership initiative access/meetings. Reintroduce native species, some of which are no longer accessible to school/community in this immediate geographical area.
Rainbow Street Public School
Native sensory garden
We will provide a quiet place for students to go to when they need, it will stimulate their senses with fragrances and the noise of rippling water. Some students are in need of a pleasant place to help them calm down when they are feeling upset.
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Rosemeadow Primary School
Redirect and reuse stormwater
Severe erosion resulting from stormwater runoff and intense student traffic is occurring along a 35 metre x 8 metre area adjacent to steps that provide access to the school oval. The embankment closest to steps has eroded to the extent of exposing sections of formwork underpinning the steps. There is an urgent need to re-direct and reuse stormwater runoff and to eliminate student access to the embankment. Stormwater runoff is also eroding soil away from existing trees exposing the root systems and sediment and mud is being washed down the stormwater drain causing blockages. We expect to achieve the total elimination of this problem by creating a 3 tiered, sustainable native garden along the embankment and later build a fixed shelter along the top of the embankment installing a water tank to collect rainwater, reusing it for oval irrigation. The garden will absorb much of the runoff and re-direct excess water to nearby turfed area significantly reducing sediments entering the stormwater drain. It will cover exposed footings, prevent student traffic, provide shade and wind breaks and will be used as a learnscape for students to investigate biodiversity first hand.
Royal Far West School
Indigenous bush tucker garden
To cultivate a garden (to be contained in large pots on a concrete strip within the grounds of Royal Far West School) comprised wholly of Australian native flora, consisting of species that were utilized by Aboriginal cultures and peoples for the purpose of nutrition. Our current school ground is very barren. It is of a great importance that the students can do some 'hands on' activities while they are at Royal Far West. The garden will serve three purposes, the first being an aesthetically pleasing garden feature. The second purpose will be to provide students with a first-hand, hands on opportunity to cultivate, prepare and sample traditional Aboriginal cuisine. The third purpose is the most important one and that is to work as a stress reliever for the children while they are in between their medical appointments.
Rydalmere East Public School
Catch the rain, spare the pain and the drain
This project aims to reduce mains water use by the school with the installation of 4 x 2,500 litre rainwater tanks and reticulating this supply to gardens, lawns, and sport fields. The rainwater tank implementation is well within context our SEMP. Our plan is to involve students, community members and staff in improving their awareness and understanding of the processes involved in water conservation. The school anticipates receiving part funding from Sydney Water through its rebate program as we have already met their criteria. The rebate will offset the installation of 2 x 2,500 litre rainwater tanks adjacent to our school hall. However, due to the size of the school grounds, we require additional funding to assist with the installation of a further 2 x 2,500 litre rainwater tanks adjacent to our infants' building. We need the benefit of a stored water supply to more efficiently re-vegetate the school's extensive grounds. By improving the school grounds this way we will be developing the students environmental education, their civic pride and ownership in the joint P&C/student garden activities.
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Sacred Heart Central School
Regeneration into the future
The proposal is to build an extensive native garden of approximately 200 metres square between the school building and the perimeter fence on a predominately east facing aspect. The purpose of the garden is to beautify the school grounds, to reduce the reliance on water and to establish a seed nursery and stock propagation base for smaller and understorey native plants to compliment the current activities associated with the propagation of native trees. The garden will be raised 200mm above existing area and bordered by termite resistant timbers. Exposed gravel walkways will be established around the garden area.
Scone Grammar School
Sustainable agricultural farming
The Upper Hunter is in the midst of a drought. This project is to research and develop ways of providing a sustainable organic fruit/vegetable farm that considers these issues. Water irrigation (drip), collection of water (tanks), power for pumps (solar), efficient use of space and resources, home made herbicides and marketing of product. Also the utilisation of what is considered waste in our immediate location (school) and district (farm) with the use of manure and compost.
Shearwater, The Mullumbimby Steiner School
Mullumbimby Creek rainforest regeneration behind new amphitheatre
Since 1997 Shearwater has been successfully regenerating its southern boundary, which is approximately 1 kilometre of Mullumbimby Creek classified as high conservation value (HCV) rainforest. Our recent purchase of a neighbouring property has given us an additional 800 metres of degraded HCV riparian rainforest to regenerate. The area targeted for this grant is a 150 metre section of creek bank behind a large natural amphitheatre, which will become the outdoor focal centre of the school to be used for environmental education, major performances and celebrations.
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Smith's Hill High School
S.E.T. weed eradication and native planting program
S.E.T (School Environment team) aims to remove all noxious/introduced weeds within the schools environment and re-plant native (especially local native) plants. Involve S.E.T., school mentor students, parents and the wider community in a positive environmental program. Improve the school's all round physical appearance.
St Michael's Primary School Coolamon
Restoration of the top oval
The restoration of the top oval has been an important part of our School Renewal framework this year because it has been an area that has been neglected and has become unsafe for students. We would like to achieve a safe and secure environment in which children can utilise the natural environment not only for educational purposes but for personal use as well.
Stanford Merthyr Infants School
'Bush tucker kids project'
The aim is to promote environmental and cultural learning through the development of an Aboriginal bush tucker garden and the creation of an Aboriginal mural to be displayed within the school playground. By creating this area we are acknowledging the culture of the Aboriginal children within our school community and enhancing the aesthetics in our school environment with this self sustaining project.
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Tamworth Public School
Bird attracting garden
Tamworth Public School is a large regional school situated at the base of the Oxley Lookout. It is bordered by a large public park and in close proximity to the Botanical Gardens. In October 2005 a class of children embarked on a research project to identify the birds that are residents of and visitors to the school playground throughout the year. As a result of their findings, the children reported sightings of many bigger birds but very few small birds such as wrens, fantails and finches. The children concluded that this is due to the fact that the school has large mature trees but very few shrubs or small trees. Our aim is to transform a large area between our COLA (covered outdoor learning area) and the boy's toilet block into a haven for small birds. It will also provide a pleasant backdrop and screen off the boy's toilet block. The project over time will raise the biodiversity of the area by providing habitat for many plants, birds and reptiles.
Tweed Heads Public School
Stage 2 of environmental station and birdwing butterfly conservation
The project is aimed at raising student and community awareness of one specific endangered local species (Richmond Birdwing Butterfly). To expand our previous Eco Schools grant (native garden and pond project) to encompass the school grounds as a whole and encourage an endangered species back to the Tweed.
Tyalla Primary School
Attracting native wildlife to Tyalla's playground
The project will establish a school action team to investigate, plan and manage the construction of a bush regeneration area. A section of our playground area which has large (over 8 metres) native trees planted has caused the undergrowth to die back. This has created an area of bare dirt and unsightly appearance. The school project team will create an area which is more conducive to attracting small native fauna to the area. Recognising that rain patterns have altered and many months are now drier that previous average monthly rainfalls, the students will also erect a bird bath for the native birds attracted to the area. In addition, our school is on a koala trail and we would like to plant new trees suitable for koala habitat thus creating a sustainable environment for the koalas into the future. Within our plan we also recognise that more seating for passive learning areas is required and additional seats will be purchased for this area. This area was one of the sections in the playground identified following a school environmental audit last year.
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William Rose School
Our curriculum makes sense
William Rose School caters for students with sensory impairments as well as additional complex disabilities. Our lessons always include sensory activities to make them meaningful to students. As our students are primarily learning life skills, our focus is to teach them to develop an economically sustainable environment at school and at home. We are doing this by way of introducing specially adapted units of work which contain various ideas, equipment and resource material for presenting lessons to a diverse range of students. Our staff are preparing these units of work and packaging them in kit bags. They are used by staff to enhance their lessons. The topics all relate to the environment. These environmental topics are incorporated into all key learning areas. We wish to increase the variety of stimuli in the environment and encourage greater access of familiar and new environments.
Woolooware Public School
Sustaining an endangered ecological community at Woolooware - stage 2
Woolooware Public School has a degraded, remnant Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest within its grounds. We are working with Sutherland Shire Council to rehabilitate this endangered ecological community and improve the appearance and security of our school. This application is for Stage 2 of the long-term project. Stage 2 will involve an audit of existing conditions, preparation of habitat areas by land forming and removing environmental weeds, planting indigenous species, mulching, regular watering using our rainwater supply (tank to be relocated) until the plants are established, creating frog habitat, monitoring changes in biodiversity, educating students and the wider community about native plants and water conservation. The site to be planted in Stage 2 has been selected because it is not used as a play area but is used by people trespassing through the school.
Woonona East Primary School
Coastal vegetation learnscape - understanding where we live
Woonona East Public School is located on the low lying area of the Illawarra coastal plain. The Illawarra coastal plain has been cleared for urban settlement and remnant vegetation is poorly preserved and often of poor quality. The Woonona East school community Public School intends to regenerate representative ecological communities that were endemic to the Illawarra coastal plain in a manner that will help preserve these communities as well as to foster a living learning environment at the school. By providing a series of learnscapes based on vegetation communities that are poorly reserved and/or endemic to the Illawarra coastal plain will enable students to explore the complexities of the environment by identifying different vegetation communities, place the present landscape in context with its historical land use (including exploration, resource use and urbanization patterns) and Aboriginal land use and connection with the area.
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Yanco Agricultural High School
YAHS beautification project
Yanco Agricultural High School is both a school and a farm which was originally opened in 1922. There is a need for the replanting and development of a number of areas in the school grounds where older trees have died or have been removed. The whole front of the school including a large dam needs revitalising and redevelopment. A number of other areas need trees and shrubs planted e.g. near the new building complex, near the TAS buildings, around the agriculture plots, in some of the horse paddocks and near the sheep yards.
Yennora Public School
Installation of a water tank and creation of a green house
The project has three parts. Yennora Public School is very conscious about water saving and our vast grounds lend themselves to planting gardens.
The student Representative Council and staff have decided on the idea of installing a water tank that would help us conserve water and be of use in the watering of the gardens.
The students and staff also decided on the idea of a greenhouse since there were so many opportunities to plant and establish garden beds, there already is an area that can be converted into a greenhouse. There is a need for benches, gardening equipment, shade cloth, potting mix etc.
There are units of work in the key learning area that link with the project
Young High School
Wiradjuri biodiversity garden
The aim of this project is to transform a neglected, weed infested area of our school into an aesthetically pleasing learning space. The area will be planted with entirely native species with a focus on local endemic species. It is hoped that the planned biodiversity garden will attract native birds and animals into the school environment. The area will also incorporate plants that were utilised by local Wiradjuri tribe with explanations highlighting what they were used for. It is anticipated that the garden would not only enhance our school grounds but will also be an excellent teaching tool that will be utilised by many different subjects across all the year levels.
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Page last updated: 27 February 2011