Project summaries - 2008 Eco Schools grants

2008 Eco Schools grants
(all grants are $2500 each)
OrganisationProject title
Abermain Public SchoolAboriginal outdoor learning centre and bush tucker garden
Aldavilla Primary SchoolOutdoor environmental classroom
Batemans Public School Community bush tucker garden
Bellbird Public School Bush tucker and healthy eating area to stimulate our senses
Black Mountain Public School Wildlife corridor construction - planting of endangered flora
Blakebrook Public School Going green amongst the cattle
Blessed Sacrament Primary School Worm (worms recreate matter!)
Bogangar Public School Sustainable waterwise chicken and orange orchard production system
Bowraville Central School Bowraville Central School sustainable habitat construction project
Burrumbuttock Public School Environmental art gala days for five district schools
Camden High School Attracting native fauna and beautifying the school environment
Carinya Christian School Wasted Away
Central Mangrove Public School Towards a Greener Tomorrow
Cobar Public School Cobar Public School ecogarden project
Collins Creek Public School Fresh (Fresh water, fresh food)
Coopernook Public School Hands of history, heritage and harmony welcome garden
Dundurrabin Public School Outdoor area incorporating bush tucker garden
Evans River K-12 Whole school waste reduction and recycling project
Glendale East Public School Responsible practice through swales and stormwater management
Glenreagh Public School Replacing noxious species with native and nutritional species
Gwandalan Public School The Gwandalan vegie patch
Halinda School For Special Purposes Sustainable multicultural community garden and outdoor classroom
Hamilton Public School Hamilton Public School electronic environmental portfolio
Holy Spirit Primary School Harmonious habitats
Illawong Public School Restoration of amphitheatre and surrounding bush regeneration
James Meehan High School James Meehan High School Indigenous garden
Keira High School Keira's Environment Team
Kempsey West Public School The bush kitchen
Kendall Public School Rejuvenation of school rainforest
Killara Public School Gu-ring-gai garden - traditional tucker trail
Lakes Grammar An Anglican School Community garden project
Lapstone Primary School Sensory trail for the living classroom
Main Arm Public School Bush tucker garden
Manly Vale Public School Manly Vale Public School excels in energy efficiency
Manly Village Public School Farmer Brown community garden - eco-garden/outdoor learning space
Meadowbank Public School Meadowbank Public School edible permaculture garden
Nana Glen Public School Nana Creek regeneration project
North Sydney Boys High School Development of an environmental learning and recreational precinct
North Sydney Demonstration School Outdoor classroom and native garden
Our Lady of Fatima School, CaringbahFeeding our Future
Our Lady Star of the Sea, MirandaWatch it Grow
Pelaw Main Public School Environmental and Aboriginal outdoor learning area
Plattsburg Public School Outdoor discovery and totem garden
Queanbeyan South Public School Koori bush tucker trail
Royal Far West School Eco classroom
Rydalmere Public School Rydalmere Public greenhouse greening program
Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School Mullimbimby Creek rainforest regeneration upstream from amphithetre
Singleton High School Sustainable waste recycling practices
Soldiers Point Public School Cascading biodiversity garden
St Charles' Primary School, WaverleyKids Care for Creation: environmental sustainability at St Charles
St Patrick's Primary School, BegaCommunity garden
St Patrick's School, LithgowSt Pats funky flowers sustainable food gardens
St Paul's Grammar School Junior School Recycling via a water tank and related sustainabilty education
Trundle Central School  Environmental agricultural learning experiences
Ulong Public School Reclaim weed-infested area into lunch and outdoor learning area
Urunga Public School Outdoor learning space in our edible gardens
Wentworthville Public School Wenty Water Watchers
Windeyer Public School Environmental awareness respecting sustainability
Wollumbin High School Wollumbin Indigenous food and medicinal plant walk
Woy Woy South Public School Woy Woy South Public School community and eco garden

 TOTAL 60 grants @$2,500 = $150,000

Abermain Public School
Aboriginal outdoor learning centre and bush tucker garden

We have ascertained a need within our school to create an environmentally sustainable outdoor learning area, based on local Aboriginal culture, including a bush tucker garden. Our students will be involved in researching culturally and environmentally appropriate plants, recognising and respecting Indigenous culture, and in the physical day to day aspects of gardening. Through this project, students will develop understanding and respect for Indigenous culture. Further, students will recognise that we need to work together in our own areas for the beautification and sustainable growth of our environment.

Aldavilla Primary School
Outdoor environmental classroom

Children’s understanding will increase by being involved in all steps of the project from design to excavation, preparation, planting and ongoing maintenance. A hands-on approach and commitment to this project will enable students to link the practical with the theory of many subjects taught in the school curriculum including numeracy, literacy, science, writing reports and scientific papers. To visualise the growth of plants and the effectiveness of organic matter/compost incorporating methods of waste and water management will help with the effectiveness of the learning process. The outdoor environmental classroom will enable whole classes to come outside and learn amongst the flora and fauna and be more effective and productive than in the classroom.

Batemans Public School
Community bush tucker garden

Our school is situated on a fairly new site. We have been working on developing a welcoming environment for all of our community.  We have recently planted a vegetable garden and orchard. We have also built a chook house to supply the canteen. Our worm farm has been operational since we first came to this site. The next project that we would like to work on is an Aboriginal food and medicine garden. Many local Aboriginal community members are keen to participate in this project. We plan to plant these on our hill next to the orchard, with a path leading through it. This path will be mosaiced by our students with the Rainbow Serpent winding its way down the hill. The plants will be labelled on plaques and their properties will be explained. This will be in conjunction with an outdoor stage that will be built later in the year. As 20% of our school population is Aboriginal, this is an important identity in our community and will add a sense of pride to our Indigenous students. Local foods will be added to the canteen and recipes will be adapted accordingly.

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Bellbird Public School
Bush tucker and healthy eating area to stimulate our senses

During 2007 a demountable building was removed from the school grounds leaving a large empty space surrounded by buildings, a covered concrete play space and a lane. Whole school planning identified the need to utilize the wasted spare space as an outdoor learning area as it was central to all classes and the 2009 curriculum units enabled all stages to develop gardens relevant to teaching and learning programs in all key learning areas. Each stage identified a type of garden that could be designed, built and maintained during the year as part of our Connected Outcomes Groups (COGS) units of work. S1 includes a student who has a significant visual impairment and the most effective stories rely on the senses being stimulated so a sensory garden was decided on to support the COGs unit 'Our Stories'. S2 will investigate how early settlers grew vegetables and waste was managed to support learning in 'Our Fleeting Past' unit as well as forming part of our daily 'Sip and Crunch' program. S3 would be investigating 'Traditions' so a bush tucker garden could support this program as well as 'Sip and Crunch' vegetable platters.

Black Mountain Public School
Wildlife corridor construction - planting of endangered flora

The Black Mountain Recreation Reserve is a valued community asset that the staff and students of Black Mountain Public School have adopted as part of its Environmental Management Plan. The students, in conjunction with the Reserve's Trust, have designed a master plan to construct and plant wildlife corridors throughout the reserve. The corridors will be planted with local endangered species including the New England Peppermint. This is the initial stage of a series of proposed projects to restore ecologically significant areas within the reserve.

Blakebrook Public School
Going green amongst the cattle

Our project will focus on promoting student awareness of indigenous fauna and flora and the effect that continuous occupation has had on the school site. Blakebrook Public School has been on this site since 1907 and before this the land was used as a cedar camp and a cattle run. No large native trees exist on this site, only a stand of camphor laurel trees planted in the 1920s by students. A parcel of land situated north east of buildings, was purchased in 1999 is the area of concern as it is still devoid of trees. A significant tree planting to this area will provide shade and bring back native birds and other animals to the area. This project will allow students to work in partnership with Jiggi Landcare, Lismore friends of the Koala, Lismore City Council, Dorroughby Field Centre, and parents to increase the biodiversity within the school grounds.

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Blessed Sacrament Primary School
Worm (worms recreate matter!) 

Recently our senior students undertook a survey of waste and rubbish generated in the school. The results indicated a high percentage of all rubbish was food-based and therefore biodegradable. These same students then explored plausible options to harness this potential resource through recycling. Worm farming was identified as the best option to create compost matter from food waste. Compost would be used to 'feed' the plants and vegetation on the school grounds thereby enhancing the natural environment both by reducing waste and nurturing chemical free growth. 

Bogangar Public School
Sustainable waterwise chicken and orange orchard production system

As a new school in a subtropical coastal location our school grounds present a considerable challenge. We are on barren coastal sand which holds little water, and with no water tanks it is difficult to keep plantings alive in the heat and winds. Our grounds are all grass which requires a lot of maintenance, and we have had trouble keeping our new shade trees alive, which means classrooms and play areas are very hot for much of the year. We are already working with students to establish an organic vegetable garden, worm farm and compost bin. We're seeking funding for Stage 2: establish a rainwater tank and plant an organic shade orchard incorporating fruit and bush tucker plants, with a chicken run. This will complete our sustainable ecosystem and provide additional produce, and we expect all lunch scraps and lawn clippings from the school to be used. We will then have less lawn and enough compost and water to better care for the existing and new trees and gardens. Parents and teachers will run the project and students will carry out the work. Students will have an outdoor learning area illustrating the school eco-system and how to garden sustainably. Fruit and eggs will be used in the school canteen and in teaching students and parents to eat fresh healthy meals.

Bowraville Central School
Bowraville Central School sustainable habitat construction project

The Bowraville Central School (BSC) environmental project will be based around improving the natural environment of the school grounds and school farm. The school grounds at present are very bare and have very few native species or areas that would provide habitat or food sources for the local birds and other fauna. In addition, the grounds are not very attractive and do not make the school appear enticing to the students or the rest of the community. Bowraville is an area of very low socio-economic status and the school does a great job in providing a place where children and others feel safe and are motivated to learn, however the school grounds do not compliment the work being carried out in the classroom. I believe if we can get the grounds looking good and the school working in a more sustainable way it will strengthen our role as educators and community builders. We also have a school farm that needs some riparian repair work done on the river bank and some improved wildlife corridors. Further, this program will help us to implement the early stages of building our SEMP and provide a great motivator for children to join us in improving the sustainability of the school and provide a show case for the whole district.

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Burrumbuttock Public School
Environmental art gala days for five district schools

The four days of visual art activities will provide the participants from five local schools in year 5 and 6 and their adult supervisors, with an understanding of the many ways environmental issues have been a major inspiration to Australian visual artists (both Indigenous and post white settlement). The sessions will give students skills to make their own diverse artworks. These skills and artworks can then be shared with their community. Our "relationship with place" is a recurring theme in the Arts in Australia and artist’s representation of ideas have been pivotal in developing and refreshing the ways in which Australians identify with their environment. New generations of artists, when given the skills, have the opportunity to make changes in attitudes by communicating the urgency of the environmental issues of their time. The students will not only be making and constructing, they will be appreciating the work of other artists, their own work and how this connects to the real world (environment).

Camden High School
Attracting native fauna and beautifying the school environment

The proposed project aims to replace approximately 40 New Zealand flax plants that were part of the original school plantings in 2001 with a range of Australian native species that will be selected specifically for their bird attracting characteristics. These flax plants are growing in a line along the front boundary of the school and in a garden bed beside the parent/visitor entry to the main administration block. They have become overgrown and quite unattractive and do not present the front entrance to the school in a positive manner. In addition, there is a large population of introduced Indian Myna birds at the school. The planting of native flora to attract native birds should assist in providing some competition for these feral birds and hopefully assist in reducing their numbers.

Carinya Christian School
Wasted Away

Student’s knowledge of sustainable management will be enriched, values enhanced and behaviour reinforced through this program. The major aim of the project is to promote a whole school approach to sustainable management. This program will focus specifically on solid waste management. Carinya produces approximately 150kg of food scraps and 16 wheelie bins full of rubbish each week. This causes significant waste and fails to reinforce to students the value of sustainable waste management. Through this program senior students will be taught the theory and strategies of waste management. They will be responsible for implementing the program and promoting to the younger students in the school. Younger students will be exposed to a variety of waste management techniques that will encourage them to practise the ideas at home.

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Central Mangrove Public School
Towards a Greener Tomorrow

Towards a Greener Tomorrow is a program designed to explore how eco-friendly our school is at present and what we can do to improve. By examining our school's energy usage we can determine if the school can rely less on non-renewable fossil fuel; save on our electricity bills and reduce our impact on the local environment. Students will undertake an energy audit to discover how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and what effects global warming /climate change and rising sea levels have on our lives. They will learn how a grid connected electric system works and examine energy saving practices. Outcomes from this project will be used to finalise our draft SEMP. An extensive community environment awareness and education program will promote this project to the wider local community. A community school open day with fun hands-on activities that combine Environment, Science, Maths and Creative Arts in discovery and exploration of the school environment will be organised with the assistance of Gould League NSW. This day will concentrate on demonstrating an understanding of school/home energy use and provide strategies for us all to be more energy efficient. Staff will attend relevant environmental professional learning to support the project.

Cobar Public School
Cobar Public School ecogarden project

Cobar Public School is located in the remote central western region of New South Wales. Before Christmas 2007 we were facing level 5 water restrictions, yet the mulching we’d started with our fledgling permaculture/eco garden group has reduced dust around the school enormously plus encouraged some moisture, and we are now dreaming again, ready to take it to the next stage! Students from all grades will become more involved in planned environmental activities such as:

  • increasing the humus in the soil/no dig garden with pea straw/lucerne
  • growing seedlings in our shade house, planting organic vegetable gardens and then selling the produce to raise money at the planned Spring Fair
  • improving and implementing recycling systems for composting organic waste from 'Fruit Break' and lunch
  • using the school grounds for outdoor learning activities and letting the wider community know through press releases
  • the school environment group will continue to collaborate with local community members, and high school teachers and students to re-design and landscape areas around the school. For example, permaculture swales and a small amount of rehabilitation work is now underway in a senior area that was severely eroded and led to classrooms being flooded during the last big downpour
  • we are eligible for the Green Vouchers Water Tank Grant and are currently awaiting quotes to get these underway for 10,000L tanks off 5 main buildings (the children estimated they would have been filled twice over last downpour that broke the drought!).

Collins Creek Public School
Fresh (Fresh water, fresh food)

The school has 5 large camphor laurel trees, two of these overhang our school building and our rainfall collecting areas for our water tanks. We are a 1 teacher rural school, which relies on its rainwater. The camphor laurel trees pose a problem in fruiting season as 1000's of berries land on the roof and taint our water tanks. We have called the project Fresh, as with the removal of these trees we will be able to reclaim a large proportion of land and be able to start afresh. Afresh with clean water and a clean patch of soil ready for planting. In the area we will plant an orchard of native and exotic fruit trees for e.g. bananas, davidson plum, macadamia, citruses, passionfruit, papaws, lillypillies, native finger limes. We will be using permaculture practices and integrated pest management (IMP). We already have a functioning composting and waste management system with a series of worm farms and composting bins which provide us with rich compost to utilize in this project. The camphor laurel trees will be mulched and used in our rainforest area and school gardens. Cuttings from the trees will be used in our woodworking program.

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Coopernook Public School
Hands of history, heritage and harmony welcome garden

Staff, students and local community groups are working together to create an entrance garden to the school which visually records and reflects the school's Indigenous and cultural heritage and history by:

  • Extending present outdoor learning areas by establishing an environmentally sustainable Aboriginal bush tucker and native garden at the school entrance
  • Constructing a 'Welcome Wall' displaying the school’s name, motto, Aboriginal meaning/origins and student ceramic 'Hands of history and heritage' mural depicting aspects of Coopernook's Indigenous and cultural past. Presently, the school has no formal entrance clearly identifying the school's presence.

The present student enrolment and families posses a limited knowledge of Coopernook's early history and heritage in regards to its Aboriginal origins, with Coopernook being the Aboriginal term for 'elbow', reflecting Coopernook's location on the bend of the river (Manning River). In addition, this project is a genuine whole school community learning opportunity which will provide practical, authentic applied learning opportunities to develop a deeper appreciation of, and a sense of responsibility for the environment now and into the future.

Dundurrabin Public School
Outdoor area incorporating bush tucker garden

Our project comprises of two separate projects, which aid to address our focus areas; curriculum and management of grounds. The first addresses the area of waste management within the office, classrooms and playground. It will involve the separation of waste by students and staff including recycling of paper, juice, milk and yoghurt containers and composting of food scraps. The second element will include an outdoor learning area and environmentally friendly building constructed of natural material i.e. straw bale, complete with solar panel. This would be designed and constructed by students with community assistance.

Evans River K-12
Whole school waste reduction and recycling project

Presently our school does not have a recycling program, not only is this bad for the environment it is also costing the school extra money through the excessive amount of paper used. We plan to establish an extensive recycling program within the school. Firstly by educating teachers and staff to re-use once only used paper, therefore reducing the total amount of paper used throughout the school. Secondly, establishing an efficient recycling format for paper, newspapers, cardboard, green and organic waste throughout the school, using composting and worm farms in a safe enclosed area. As well as an effective collection of waste paper for pick up by the local recycling company. Thirdly another by-product of our recycling will be less litter in the school environment. Finally we plan to beautify the area adjoining the compost and worm farm enclosure utilizing the compost and worm castings in its establishment.

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Glendale East Public School
Responsible practice through swales and stormwater management

The need of the project is to continue to solve environmental problems especially storm water management through responsible and appropriate landscaping and planting and to teach students about sustainability especially, environmentally responsible gardening - organic. The permaculture garden supplements the school’s work in erosion and filtering swales, organic vegetable patch, bird attracting gardens, creek bank restoration, worm farm and recycling. Our school is using the school environment as a teaching tool for our students. On a 16 acre sloping site we have combated erosion, flooding and silting through the use of sensitive plantings and erosion reducing swales. There is also a need to ensure that we use the water in our grounds responsibly and appropriately. Where to when this is done? When these projects are completed there will remain one last project – to work with council to establish a small wetlands area in the lowest wettest area on of the grounds - such a project is beyond the scope of this grant

Glenreagh Public School
Replacing noxious species with native and nutritional species

Since 2005 our school has enthusiastically embarked on working towards being an environmentally sustainable school. In order to move onto our next Learnscape projects planned in our 2009/10 SEMP we need to remove camphor laurels and privet, which are declared noxious weeds in our local area. Our plan compliments a local community project of regenerating the Orara Riverbank in the Glenreagh Village, which is infested with noxious weeds. The school has been invited to participate in this community project and members of the Riverbank Restoration Committee have offered to assist the school with our project. Our project provides the opportunity for the community to work together towards eradicating noxious species and building biodiversity. The school's Environment Committee, staff, and Student Representative Council believe we have an environmental responsibility to systematically remove these noxious species especially our camphor laurels as they are some of the oldest and largest seed trees in the area. Once the planned camphor laurels and all the privet have been removed our bush area will be regenerated with native plants. A path will also be constructed through this area. A citrus grove will also be grown in an old camphor laurel site.

Gwandalan Public School
The Gwandalan vegie patch

Our project is to establish a vegetable garden in the school grounds, not only so students can experience the food cycle process first hand but to promote healthy eating amongst our students and within the school. The main outcome is to successfully utilise this project so that students will be able to taste 'the fruits of their labour' while focussing on the importance of how a sustainable lifestyle can help our environment. An area adjacent to the school's cricket nets has been identified as an ideal site. The garden enclosure will be constructed using the same materials as the cricket nets and one side of the nets used as part of the enclosure to help reduce costs. There is a water tank already in place nearby which would be utilised for this project. This location is close to neighbouring houses which will help deter vandalism. It is also near our already established nature area and outdoor classroom. The garden will be operated by students. The School Landcare Group will have ongoing involvement in this project. It will be a valuable teaching and learning resource for all students from early stage 1 to stage 3. It is also anticipated that in the future, native bush foods might be incorporated into this same garden area.

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Halinda School For Special Purposes
Sustainable multicultural community garden and outdoor classroom

We currently do not have a school garden with suitable facilities. Our special needs students require wheelchair access to raised garden beds and purpose built accessible recycling infrastructure. The project will enable a whole school outdoor classroom incorporating a multicultural food garden and bush tucker garden. The project has developed through two major school initiatives:

  1. The implementation of our SEMP for Halinda, developing a purpose built facility. The opportunity to develop a school garden and address environmental sustainability issues such as the efficient recycling of water, paper and food waste within the school. Our primary goal is to embed life skills and learning activities into this initiative. The project will promote systematic sustainability knowledge, environmental citizenship and practical skills within our Special Needs School community.
  2. Our Values forum focussed on sharing the rich culture and values of our community. The multicultural food production garden/bush tucker garden is a practical and inclusive way of involving all in sharing the development of an environmentally sustainable garden based on permaculture principles.

Hamilton Public School
Hamilton Public School electronic environmental portfolio

Over the last three years at Hamilton Public School we have undertaken research into best practise to develop and implement programs that manage our grounds, water, waste and energy in a sustainable and efficient manner. Presently a number of environmental programs are occurring to manage site or community waste such as recycling for curbside collection, regular composting of food scraps and the composting of local restaurant coffee grounds/food scraps. We also have developed a very substantive plan to manage site water and stop erosion through the use of swales, installation of rain water tanks, underground water reticulation and sumps. These plans also include the construction of an outdoor learning centre containing a greenhouse, composting pens, worm farms, outdoor classroom and student vegetable garden. The garden has already been constructed by students and vegetable cultivation is underway. Lastly with installation of Newcastle Council energy monitoring device, Climatecam, we will be able to begin our site energy management. Our aim is to create a school based, student created webpage which has a comprehensive electronic environmental portfolio attached. Its purpose will be to inform, educate and promote.

Holy Spirit Primary School
Harmonious habitats

Holy Spirit Primary School is working towards the implementation of strategies to improve our sustainability and to reduce our impact on the environment. We are situated on the edge of a green belt area that provides habitat for a number of native species. We have identified the need to support these habitats and their occupants through the development of a green corridor. Our project aims to extend the green belt by creating a safe corridor along the boundary of the school grounds for native animals to live more harmoniously with the human habitat on their doorstep.

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Illawong Public School
Restoration of amphitheatre and surrounding bush regeneration

The original amphitheatre was constructed in 1989 but has gone into disrepair, and the surrounding area is in desperate need of both bush regeneration and weed control. This setting would be the ideal location for an outside learning area to undertake school environmental activities, because it is situated in a tranquil bushland setting within the school grounds. The school community already has provided funds for the purchase of material that has enabled the actual amphitheatre structure to be reconstructed. However, bush regeneration and weed control of the area must be carried out for this area to become viable for environmental activities for our students, visiting schools and the community. The project will include planting additional native plants and labelling all native plants, as well as producing a booklet to allow plant identification for the education of the users of the area.

James Meehan High School
James Meehan High School Indigenous garden

To establish and maintain a healing garden that contains native plants and shrubs to be used for cultural affirmation awareness. The garden will be used to teach students and the community the importance of environmental and conservation preservation. Once completed the garden will be used to support educational outcomes by use as an outdoor learning area for the school and the community including feeder schools and Indigenous groups within the local area.

Keira High School
Keira's Environment Team

The Keira Environment Team is a student body learning how to run a successful community action group and improve the environmental sustainability of the school and local community. Students from Year 7 to Year 11 are in the team, which is comprised of a media unit, action teams, data management unit and community resources co-ordination team. Students are working on projects across the curriculum including: collecting and managing audit data (on Excel) to be used in a Year 8 environment and numeracy project; promoting international events and creating signage to raise awareness of consumption issues throughout the school; plant propagation to improve the native plant biodiversity of an existing rainforest in school grounds; and creating an interactive classroom within the rainforest. All projects are designed to improve sustainability and raise awareness of environmental issues within the school and local community. The Eco Schools grant will be used by students to continue the existing projects and develop adequate resources for further projects.

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Kempsey West Public School
The bush kitchen

West Kempsey Public School would like to add a live environmental education tool to its resources. An area adjacent to the school's main congregation area has been identified. It is ideal in location and accessible to all students attending the school. The children via world events are becoming more aware of environmental issues such as global warming. This has created widespread interest and a vacuum for environmental learning projects within the school's curriculum. The project will cover an area of approximately 500 square metres. The site will be accessed via a central "wheelchair friendly" walking path and contain approximately thirty trees or shrubs and twenty ground covers. Each plant will have a sign located adjacent to its trunk or base, it will state the Latin name, common name and the local Aboriginal (Dunghutti) name. A number of these plants are also known as "bush tucker". Local elders have indicated their intent to become involved in passing knowledge of the use of these plants to the students of the school as often as the curriculum allows.

Kendall Public School
Rejuvenation of school rainforest

Kendall Central School established a rainforest on school grounds in 1990. The forest contains unique species of plants indigenous to this area e.g. red cedar. However since the establishment of our school the area has become over grown with lantana, privet and camphor laurel. By clearing these unwanted plants we can return the forest to its original state providing recreational and educational value to the students of Kendall Public School.

Killara Public School
Gu-ring-gai garden - traditional tucker trail

Gu-ring-gai garden project at Killara Public School takes an underutilised, degraded area within the school grounds, and creates an attractive outdoor learning environment. An access pathway is being constructed through this area as part of Departmental capital works, and restoration of the area following this work is logical. Initial work focuses on Landcare requirements - removing weeds, decompacting soil, reinforcing contour lines and reducing erosion. The second phase of work involves students planting and caring for a range of native plants. The plant selection (recommended by Kurringai Council Bushcare and nursery personnel) includes a range of "bush tucker" plants appropriate to the site. In addition to their value as food plants, the native plantings will reduce erosion and run off on the sloping site, provide food and habitat for native fauna, and visually enhance the area. Final components include installation of interpretative plant signage (detailing botanical, common, and indigenous plant names) and enhancement of the existing amphitheatre seating within the area by inclusion of an appropriately themed mural created by the students.

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Lakes Grammar An Anglican School
Community garden project

The school environmental management project entails the establishment of a school community garden. This garden will be established in an area of the school that has recently been degraded due to building works. The garden will enable students to gain an understanding of horticulture, by engaging in activities related to the seasonal growth of vegetables, seed propagation, plant compatibility, composting, design and healthy eating options. The garden will provide staff with a context in which to educate the whole child. By focussing on the garden, solutions are sought that are not typical of traditional classroom work. Through hands on experiences students will also gain an understanding of the science of ecology and the values of mutual respect, commitment and concern.

Lapstone Primary School
Sensory trail for the living classroom

The school has currently established the living classroom area with nine garden beds providing produce for sale at the local community fair and for harvesting to feed the school on special event days such as World Environment Day. A natural bush area with a winding exploratory path is the backdrop to the vegetable garden and used by the school for bush regeneration training and plant identification. The project planned is a sensory trail and will aim at extending the vegetable garden area by encircling the existiing beds as well as have a variety of different textured pathways between the garden beds. The extension of our living classroom in this way will help to incorporate teaching and learning units from Science and Technology with the outdoor learning area as well as support outcomes in the Creative and Practical Arts and environmental outcomes in Human Society and its Environment.

Main Arm Public School
Bush tucker garden

Main Arm Public School staff, students and community would like to develop and environmentally proactive school where our learning community is committed to ensuring that environmental education is regarded as the responsibility of all. We are a small school (52 students) situated in the Brunswick Valley catchment area. We endeavour to create an outdoor learning space by rehabilitating a currently unused area into a bush tucker garden. Students, teachers and parents will remove noxious weeds: camphor laurel, coral trees, lantana and potato vine; plant local native bush tucker plants and species, and develop identification labels throughout the gardens. The project will involve students researching and designing a bush tucker garden. Maps, plans, photos and information will be developed with assistance from our local Indigenous community and environmental groups. 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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Manly Vale Public School
Manly Vale Public School excels in energy efficiency

This project will convert Manly Vale Public School from an energy guzzler to a modern energy aware, energy efficient education institution. Our school has had a dramatic increase in energy in the last decade due to installation of computers, air-conditioning and other energy thirsty devices essential in 21st century education. These devices have been installed in 50 year old buildings which were designed without energy efficiency in mind. This project will firstly involve the students and teachers in undertaking an energy audit and carbon footprint analysis of the school, and then implementing energy saving initiatives. These initiatives will include insulating the ceiling of the main classroom block and IT centre, installing timers on the air conditioning in the IT centre, retrofitting energy efficient lighting and developing energy wise posters and information to ensure the whole school has been upgraded to modern energy efficiency.

Manly Village Public School
Farmer Brown community garden - eco-garden/outdoor learning space

We have a growing school population with limited playground space. Our playground currently contains a neglected and under utilised garden. We would now like to make this garden more accessible and user friendly for the entire school community. The first step will be to create workable infrastructure by building raised beds for improved accessibility and soil health; weeding and mulching pathways; laying down a sandstone pathway through the aromatic garden; building a pergola for vine plants; and planting and propagation. Eventually, this garden will incorporate an organic vegetable and herb garden, a quiet play area and outdoor learning space. We would like to use this garden as a catalyst for environmental education programs.

Meadowbank Public School
Meadowbank Public School edible permaculture garden

Our aim is to develop an edible permaculture garden. By sowing, cultivating and harvesting produce students will develop a deeper understanding and respect for nature. We wish to create a fun program where the students experience, first-hand, the positive affects of their actions to create a sustainable environment. The project will be created within the framework of custodial responsibility; hence our students will be learning from the local Indigenous people on Indigenous Landcare practices, we also will be featuring an area in our garden that is for learning about bush tucker and traditional ways. The philosophy behind the concept of the Meadowbank Public School edible permaculture garden project incorporates a holistic approach to the management of sustainability. Through the various stages of development we will be involving students, teachers, parents, local council, industry professionals, traditional owners, educational facilitators, environmental organisations, government departments and local businesses. Whether it through fundraising, education, awareness or community support we will be all moving together to administer positive change in environmental issues.

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Nana Glen Public School
Nana Creek regeneration project

Our project involves the regeneration of a creek area bordering the school, on school grounds. This was once a much visited outdoor learning space but has in the past few years, since the poisoning of some very large camphor laurels, become infested with introduced weeds and falling branches and is unable to be entered. The school shade house, which has been used for propagation for the past 4 years with the help of Landcare volunteers, will be used to provide seedlings to be used in replanting the banks of the creek with plants indigenous to the area. Fertiliser and mulch will come from a worm farm and compost centre to be set up by the students to make use of food scraps from the fruit break, recess and lunch sessions.

North Sydney Boys High School
Development of an environmental learning and recreational precinct

The project is to develop an area of the school into a 'green' precinct called The Green. We currently have 1470 square metres of asphalt creating significant stormwater runoff, which fails to facilitate or encourage local species and provides little functional space for the school. The precinct will become a learning and recreational space encouraging interaction with the environment.  It will include two outdoor learning areas, a bush corridor, green recreational/sports area, furniture from recycled materials, recycling bin system and irrigation using collected rainwater from our two 45,000 litre water tanks. The process of developing this space has involved consulting and drawing on the resources of the greater school community with the aim of building knowledge of environmentally sustainable management and processes. It is a direct deliverable of our SEMP. The project will make a difference by engaging the whole school community in the planning and implementation in a project underpinned by environmental sustainability thereby increasing knowledge, skills and understanding for the future. The end result will include a reduction of and improvement in the quality of stormwater runoff, encouragement for students to interact with the environment as well as encourage local species into the area.

North Sydney Demonstration School
Outdoor classroom and native garden

North Sydney Demonstration School has earmarked an underutilised area of the school grounds to become an outdoor classroom with surrounding native garden. The school's Environmental Management Plan and a subsequent study by SCRAP identified the establishment of an outdoor learning centre as a great opportunity to increase the student's awareness of environmental issues and allow them to have a more hands-on experience for their environmental education programs. With the assistance of North Sydney Council's Bushcare Department, the new area will be developed by the students who will be responsible for the identification of weed species, planting of locally sourced native species and installation of a frog pond. This initiative will give all classes the opportunity to learn in an inspiring and thought provoking environment whilst becoming an invaluable resource for staff.

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Our Lady of Fatima School, Caringbah
Feeding our Future

Our Lady of Fatima School has identified environmental stewardship as a key area for development as part of its Annual Plan 2008. We have named a number of areas requiring attention including energy reduction, water conservation and better resource management. A small but important part of our overall commitment to being good stewards of the environment is making better use of the organic waste produced by the staff and students. We aim to recycle it through composting and reuse it as organic feed for a proposed vegetable garden.

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Miranda
Watch it Grow

Our project 'Watch it Grow' is designed to complement the extensive work being done with our Year 4 students in the area of composting and with our Year 1 worm farms. We aim to plant two gardens and work to extend another.

  1. A vegetable garden whose produce will be used in the canteen. This garden will be the project of a targeted group of Year 2 students who will be assisted by one of our grandfather's and a teacher.
  2. A friendship garden featuring native species which will be planted by our Year 5 students and their Kinder buddies.
  3. Our native garden which is in need regular maintenance and care. This will be the project of a group working with our learning centre teacher.

These three gardens will have an impact upon the whole community as we strive to assist our students become aware and active conservationists. Many students will be involved in the project thus giving us maximum advantage.

Pelaw Main Public School
Environmental and Aboriginal outdoor learning area

To create a stimulating and attractive environmentally friendly outdoor learning area for all students to use, incorporating the academic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of school. The outdoor learning area has been devised with student and staff input and will incorporate partnerships and involvement by the P&C and local community and businesses. The funding will establish the outdoor learning area. Students from the environmental committee will raise funds for the project. Students will have ownership and responsibility for their ongoing involvement for the project annually, to improve and/or maintain. The outdoor learning area will provide education on Australian native plants, making the area sustainable, cultural aspects of Aboriginal features such as traditional bush tucker and totem poles.

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Plattsburg Public School
Outdoor discovery and totem garden

Plattsburg Public School is in the Newcastle suburb of Wallsend. Our school SEMP aims to create a school environment that reflects students actively working with the natural environment, whilst also learning practices that are environmentally friendly. This project is in line with the SEMP. The selected area will be transformed into an outdoor discovery totem garden area, designed by the school's Stage 3 students, with input by the school's Year 3 to 6 Environmental Team. This area will provide a place for teachers to take students to learn about native plants, an area for students to relax during lunch time, while reading a book or talking with others and an area displaying the artistic work of students in Stage 3. The already established school worm farm will be used to fertilise the area, along with grass clippings. The purpose of our project is to utilise the students' talents in Visual Arts area, whilst empowering their environmental powers to make a difference to the school environment.

Queanbeyan South Public School
Koori bush tucker trail

Over the past few years we have been working on establishing a Koori garden. So far we've installed a water feature, an Aboriginal mural painted by Indigenous community members, seating, native plants and sculptures of native animals. A path with footprints of every child at the school winds through the garden. Following the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, we held a celebration assembly and as a part of this a native tree was planted in the garden to commemorate the occasion. Now we are ready to complete the project by building a retaining wall to compensate for the slope on the site and provide more seating and to plant native flora that is local and was used by local Aboriginal people. Our school has a significant Aboriginal population and this year we are focussing on the local Aboriginal history and culture, led by recognised Elders and supported by our Aboriginal Education Committee.

Royal Far West School
Eco classroom

To build an eco learning space near our bush tucker garden. The structure will include a water catching roof, a rainwater tank as one wall, a blackboard on an existing wall and some ecologically sound furnishings. The benefits and uses of the eco classroom are:

  • collection of rainwater to be used for garden maintenance
  • to function as an inspirational leaning space, for all students and teachers
  • provide a leaning space for environmental education, in particular working on the bush tucker garden
  • be an outdoor 'yarning place' as part of our Indigenous Quality Teaching Project
  • to improve the look of the school grounds.

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Rydalmere Public School
Rydalmere Public greenhouse greening program

To build and maintain a greenhouse, for the purpose of propagating and nurturing cuttings and seedlings of both local native plants and ornamental plants. Initially for the beautification of the school and eventually as a community project  for the wider school community and local greenspaces. To educate children on the importance of vegetation in a sustained environment.

Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School
Mullimbimby Creek rainforest regeneration upstream from amphitheatre

Since 1997 Shearwater has been successfully regenerating the narrow corridor of high conservation value sub-tropical rainforest which occurs along our southern boundary of Mullumbimby Creek. With the purchase of our neighbouring property in 2005 this riparian boundary is now 1.8 kilometres long. The area which this grant application covers is the next 100 metres upstream from our large natural amphitheatre. This project follows the successful regeneration of the creek bank behind the amphitheatre in 2007.

Singleton High School
Sustainable waste recycling practices

Develop sustainable practices in waste management and to integrate recycling into the curriculum at Singleton High School. Current practices of recycling of garden waste and waste from the canteen and Home Science are inadequate and lead to a loss of a valuable resource that could be used in mineral recycling and water conservation of school gardens and for worm farm culture. Student involvement in conserving and recycling organic material will help develop an understanding for the use of materials in maintaining a mineral balance in school soils and to promote beneficial soil fauna.

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Soldiers Point Public School
Cascading biodiversity garden

The project will create a cascading native garden to link the two split levels of the infant’s playground. The garden will incorporate two sets of wide steps for use as an outdoor learning area as well as for safe transit between the two levels. The school grounds contain a single remnant red ash (Alphitonia excelsa); a reminder of the lowland rainforest that occurred on Soldiers Point in pockets before it was developed. The cascading garden will therefore be preferentially planted with species that may previously have been present on the school grounds before it was developed. This will improve local biodiversity and create an opportunity to learn about the lowland rainforest endangered ecological community and threatened species; raising student and community awareness and responsibility for these issues.

St Charles' Primary School, Waverley
Kids Care for Creation: environmental sustainability at St Charles

St Charles' is wishing to implement an environmental management project that will review important environmental impacts in the school, and then develop and implement strategies to reduce these impacts, and to teach staff and in particular, students (and their households), practical but simple methods of becoming more sustainable. These methods will include the installation of waste/resource collection facilities that will improve the separation of compostible matter; recycling material and waste for landfill disposal; the establishment of worm farms and/or a compost bin to demonstrate hands - on learning; and campaigns to reduce energy and water consumption by active promotion (stickers, posters, etc - to be designed by students as part of an art competition). St Charles' sees this as a need because while there are a number of good environmental initiatives such as emphasising the need to reduce packaging, etc, the School believes a project that is promoted with noticeable resources will have a stronger impact and make a positive difference to the reduction of waste and energy consumption.

St Patrick's Primary School, Bega
Community garden

Establishing an organic community garden is the next logical step in our SEMP. It will utilise the water management plan already in place and it will precipitate a waste management plan in composting green organic waste. We aim to create an experiential, educational setting that models a sustainable way of living that will adapt to a changing world. As a school, we have also identified a need to establish links to our parish and the wider community. In sharing a project such as a community garden, we can build relationships, educate sustainable practices and promote healthy food choices.

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St Patrick's School, Lithgow
St Pats funky flowers sustainable food gardens

Our school aims to create sustainable food gardens based on organic/permaculture gardening principles. To achieve this we now need propagation facilities to help utilise the seed collected and saved by our students. This is another important step in the cycle of our garden. To be able to propagate seeds and cuttings for our own gardens. In turn students will follow the life cycles of plants from seed to fruit to seed and/or compost and how to sustain this process and have no waste.

St Paul's Grammar School Junior School
Recycling via a water tank and related sustainabilty education

The 'Greening St Paul's 2008' environmental management project covers, first, the rationale which focuses on the need to apply principles of sustainability and enhance stewardship of the 28 hectare school site (covering both St Paul's Grammar School High School and St Paul's Grammar School Junior School) in what was a degraded quarry site 25 years ago and is now developing into a productive native garden which in part is largely self-sustaining because of two large school dams that recycle on part of the property.  This project will begin the process of recycling on that remaining portion of the property that drains away from the dam.  Second, under the heading 'Principles of Stewardship', there are six principles, the fourth of which is 'Improving on-site sustainability', which covers the water tank and its proposed uses.  Third, under initiatives which have over 50 entries, one of which is collection of water from site into dams, covers this water tank.  Fourth, 'Priorities for 2008' covers 8 areas, not including this project, which is a 2009 project.

Trundle Central School
Environmental agricultural learning experiences

The need is to utilise a previous waste area within the school area into a productive area for trees; both native and introduced food source trees. We will also:

  • create an outdoor learning area within the current agriculture area to allow for onsite teaching experience for secondary and primary students
  • revise any materials available re: recycling - worm farm
  • reuse, recycle.

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Ulong Public School
Reclaim weed-infested area into lunch and outdoor learning area

An area of the playground at the front of the school was planted in time past with inappropriate exotic plants which are spreading. Thousands of privet seedlings from a neighbouring property come up every year in the area, requiring constant removal. The area harbours feral cats and occasional snakes and provides a breeding ground for mosquitos.

Urunga Public School
Outdoor learning space in our edible gardens

Work will soon begin on a large organic vegetable and herb garden at Urunga Public School. It will supply food for the canteen and create a link to the existing, well established bush tucker garden (funded by a 2004 Eco Schools grant) and other native vegetation. A dedicated, covered learning space is needed within this area to enable the students, teachers, parents and other community members to come together in the garden and learn about growing food, healthy eating, indigenous food and medicinal plants, environmentally sustainable gardening and the environmental benefits of these practices. Rainwater tanks, composting and mulching systems will be included in the vegetable garden project. The food produced will supply the canteen. The outdoor learning space will support the needs of the school children by providing a place within the gardens for:

  1. teaching them about the benefits of eating fresh, healthy food and the values of bush tucker plants
  2. encouraging them to have hands-on experience and be active in the vegetable and herb garden
  3. strengthening the school's broader community ties, including ties with Aboriginal community members
  4. teaching children about sustainable agricultural practices and their environmental benefits.

Wentworthville Public School
Wenty Water Watchers

Our project aims to reduce potable water use in the school by utilising grey water from an installed rainwater tank in the student toilets.  Water plays an essential role in Australian life and our commitment to reducing our water use needs to be long-term. There is a responsibility for all citizens to seriously examine their own personal attitudes to this important, necessary and finite resource. The project will involve students, community members and staff in improving their awareness and understanding of the processes involved in water conservation, including teaching/learning activities to collect and analyse water usage data on the school site. This grant would assist with the costs to upgrade the plumbing to 16 existing students' toilets, 2 urinals and 3 staff/community toilets to utilise grey water from a rainwater tank. Holroyd Council will also provide a grant of $1250 to support our endeavours in water conservation. The school's P&C Association is keen to donate funds of $2000 to purchasing and installing a rainwater tank. This initiative will reduce the potable water used for toilet flushing on the site by 60% or more.

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Windeyer Public School
Environmental awareness respecting sustainability

At present the children are keen to place their food scraps in an old compost bin which is not utilised any further. The establishment of a sustainable chook pen, would enable students to more efficiently recycle food scraps by feeding the chooks and gaining benefits of chook poo and eggs in return. Students will benefit from the program by participating in practical experiences involving the web of life, responsibility of feeding and caring for the animals, and utilising eggs in cooking classes. Expert knowledge and skills will be utilised by uniting community and school to help create and continue to manage project. School will benefit by having fertiliser for existing gardens and the new fruit tree orchard which will also be created as part of the project.

Wollumbin High School
Wollumbin indigenous food and medicinal plant walk

Much of the lowland subtropical rainforest has been cleared from the Tweed Valley. Native animals have limited ranges of habitat, particularly varities of Flying Foxes, Pademelons and Fig parrots that have greatly reduced numbers. Native plants that have cultural and historical importance to the Nganduwal people of the Bundjalung nation have declined in their abundance. The local community will be involved in deciding which plants are significant in their culture and will be included in the walk. A pamphlet outlining this and the location of the groves of plants will be designed and published.

Woy Woy South Public School
Woy Woy South Public community and eco garden

This project will educate the school and local community on the critical need to conserve water on the Central Coast. A unique whole of school project incorporating K-6 students, teachers and local community sharing information and knowledge about natural gardening systems using a hands-on approach. Students will establish fruit, vegetable, bush tucker and herb gardens to gain valuable skills and understanding of how food is grown by measuring water use eg vegetables versus bush tucker. This projects expands on the existing SEMP which is water focused, involving and linking to a number of community groups and projects.

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Page last updated: 27 February 2011