Sustaining our environment

Project summaries - 2010 Eco Schools grants

2010 Eco Schools grants
(all grants are $2,500 each)
OrganisationProject title
AbbotsleighEco garden - interacting and understanding our environment
Albion Park High SchoolBush food fusion garden
Ashbury Public SchoolAshbury community garden
Barkers Vale Public SchoolBarkers Vale kitchen garden - eat, grow, eat
Bellingen Public SchoolCaring for Gumbaynggirr country
Berkeley West Public SchoolFab fresh food
Berrima Public SchoolSchool in the garden - Berrima's outdoor learning space
Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula SchoolSustainable vegetable ecogarden and notice board
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican CollegeIndigenous tree planting
Broughton Anglican CollegeSaving water at Broughton with a smart meter system
Buronga Public SchoolAquaponics - sustainable use of water at Buronga Public School
Byron Bay High SchoolAquaponics - an ecologically sustainable food production system
Caroline Chisholm CollegeTurning food scraps into vegies - school outreach program
Casino West Public SchoolKnowing and growing
Central Mangrove Public SchoolLiving off the land
Cherrybrook Technology High SchoolOutdoor biodiversity learning area
Chullora Public SchoolGreenies
Clovelly Public SchoolGarden of edible native plants and outdoor learning circle
Coogee Public SchoolLearning green - outdoor classroom and playspace
Doonside Technology High SchoolEstablishing a frog pond
Edgeworth Public SchoolNative reflection garden
Fern Bay Public SchoolFern Bay Schools vegetables and native garden project
Forestville Montessori SchoolConservation of the natural bushland at Dundundra Falls
Gwynneville Public SchoolIndigenous bushfoods garden and cultural studies zone
Iluka Public SchoolIluka Public School SEMP: educating, integrating and activating
Jamberoo Public SchoolConversion of current herb garden into the 'living classroom'
Jannali Public SchoolCreating native garden to enhance hands on learning
Keira High SchoolOrganic compost and vegetable garden teaching space
Kirrawee Public SchoolCreating at native garden for hands-on learning
Main Arm Public SchoolBush tucker and edible garden
Matraville Soldiers' Settlement Primary SchoolMatraville leafy greens
Medowie Christian SchoolOrganic school gardening program
Mitchell High SchoolGardening - tidying up the school
Monteagle Public SchoolIndigenous learnscape, native flora and vegetable garden
Moruya Public SchoolMoruya Public School kitchen garden
Mount Pritchard East Public SchoolAn outdoor learning area in a garden setting
Northmead Public SchoolNorthmead's gardening adventure
North Sydney Boys High SchoolPlastic bottle reduction scheme
Nowra High SchoolSustain through knowledge and inclusive practise
Oyster Bay Public SchoolOyster Bay Public School waste reduction initiative
Peterborough SchoolSchool leavers bio-intensive garden jobs (B.I.G. Jobs)
Primbee Public SchoolPrimbee Public School environmental education club
Queanbeyan Public SchoolQueanbeyan Public School pupils learn to grow vegetables sustainably
Rainbow Ridge School for Steiner EducationRainbow Ridge School biodynamic kitchen garden
Rathmines Public SchoolSustainable organic vegetable garden for Rathmines Public School
Richmond North Public SchoolBuilding on our Hawkesbury heritage
Royal National Park Environmental Education CentreSustainability education and learning centre
Sacred Heart School CoolahRehabilitation of school grounds
St. George SchoolLand clearance to create outdoor learning area
St. Ignatius College RiverviewDeveloping the riverview environment walk for community use
St. Joseph's Primary School, Port MacquarieSt. Joseph's outdoor learning area
Southern Cross School K - 12Wastewise project
Temora PublicTemora Public School native gardens project
Urunga Public SchoolUrunga Public School's ecofriendly, tasty and educational gardens
Vacy Public SchoolPlayground garden to create environmental education resource
Vincentia High SchoolGet down and dirty with the worms
Waverly Action for Youth ServicesSmart choices garden to kitchen project
Wingham High SchoolWastebusters: waste avoidance and recycling at Wingham High School
Young High SchoolWaterwise, productive and sustainable garden
Table updated 18 February 2011

TOTAL 59 projects @ $2,500 = $147,500

Abbotsleigh
Eco garden - interacting and understanding our environment

Abbotsleigh is located across two sites: the senior campus and the Pre, K - 6 campus. Through a joint sustainability committee we aim to develop our knowledge of the environment with an emphasis on student driven programs. The eco garden is a project aimed to develop an outdoor learning centre for all students of Abbotsleigh. It is also aimed at providing a space for learning about gardening for sustainable growth in two areas: natural preservation of the current area as well as the development of a produce garden i.e. vegetable garden. This in turn will allow students, teachers and the wider school community to work together to understand permaculture, composting issues, water conservation and clear links to curriculum areas such as science and the studies of ecosystems, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education and bush medicines. It is planned in an area which needs to be re-developed and allows for a natural space for an eco garden to be developed which is hoped to be 'growing' by January 2012.

Albion Park High School
Bush food fusion garden

The project is to establish a garden that will fuse bush tucker, herbs and organic vegetables, as well as provide composting facilities and the ability to use water wisely. The project involves students researching, sharing, establishing, planting and labelling indigenous plants native to the local area as well as herbs and vegetables commonly used in the school cafe and food classes and developing interpretive signs about the plants and their uses. Benefits include increasing student and staff understanding of Aboriginal Australia and engage students in learning in how they can plan an ecologically sustainable lifestyle for the future.

Ashbury Public School
Ashbury community garden

A community garden within the grounds of Ashbury Public School to promote understanding of sustainable organic food production, waste reduction, water conservation and recycling by the school children, the teaching staff and local community members. Our grass roots project involves skill, resource and labour sharing by members of the local community and school. The knowledge and skills developed in the building and maintenance of the garden will encourage more local families to become active gardeners, open the experience of gardening to the children at the school by integrating the garden across curriculum, heighten awareness of the connection between food, human nutrition and the environment. The garden will grow a diverse range of crops that reflect the diverse nature of our local community.

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Barkers Vale Public School
Barkers Vale kitchen garden - eat, grow, eat

Barkers Vale Public School is situated on the scenic plateaus of the north coast tablelands in lush, ecologically diverse surroundings. Being located in this spectacular and fragile natural environment has prompted the school to aim to be more environmentally sustainable. Our project aims to increase understanding of the need to reduce waste and to grow food locally and organically. This will be achieved by several activities including taking students on an excursion to a council waste management facility, separating school waste into green and non-recyclable, establishing vegetable and herb gardens, and using composted material to grow edible plants for the canteen and to sell to raise funds for other environmental projects.

Bellingen Public School
Caring for Gumbaynggirr country

This project grows students' cultural consciousness and their care for country through Gumbaynggirr ways of learning. The program explores Aboriginal totems through local elders and cultural workers visiting the school, bird walks, observation, research, Gumbaynggirr language and cultural immersion lessons and artistic expression involving drawing, painting, mask making, movement and dance. The program will culminate in creating an extensive bird sanctuary on school grounds specific to the students' totems and the birds that currently visit the school. The sanctuary will display educational signage and resources will be created so that this garden and can be utilised by the teaching staff and students into the future.

Berkeley West Public School
Fab fresh food

Our school would like to build its own school vegetable/fruit garden so that students can take an active and direct responsibility for the cultivation of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables that would in turn be provided to the school canteen to be used as part of its integral healthy school canteen's menu (free of charge). Food harvested may also be used as part of the school's daily 'Crunch and Sip' program. Students would also benefit from the educational benefits associated with the project as part of their environmental education program. Funds would be expended on the materials required for initial creation of a garden bed, plants, an outdoor tap to be connected to our existing water tank as well as gardening tools to cultivate and maintain growing of fresh produce. Some funds would also need to be allocated to release staff from class to coordinate initial establishment of the garden and to coordinate student participation.

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Berrima Public School
School in the garden - Berrima's outdoor learning space

Since mid 2009 the staff, children, parents and local community have developed an extensive organic food and flower garden in a disused space in the school grounds. Children and volunteers work tirelessly to maintain the garden. Formal garden classes are held weekly for groups of children from kinder to year 6. Our project is to build an outdoor learning space in the heart of this area, to enable all users to gather to learn about plants, ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainable food growing practices, to socialise, (particularly with older community volunteers), to watch demonstrations and be briefed on the duties in the garden, to take respite from the weather, to reflect on experiences in the garden and to provide a comfortable place to enjoy the aesthetics of the food and flower gardens surrounding the area. The learning area will be enclosed with further plantings including natives and will be a practical and beautiful place to take any learning outdoors, including other aspects of environmental education, thereby promoting children's comfort in and appreciation of nature.

Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula School
Sustainable vegetable ecogarden and notice board

This project involves:

  1. establishing an organic vegetable garden on the school grounds
  2. utilisation of harvested rain water for garden needs
  3. introduction of worm composting to broaden the school's recycling program and utilisation of school's own mature compost for the gardening needs
  4. training for the students (classes 3-6) and staff in the principles of bio-dynamic farming and composting
  5. promotion of the school's ecologically sustainable drive to the members of the community
  6. active participation and guided management of the project by the students of classes 3-6
  7. enforcing students' learning and progress related to the project through visuals and reports on the special eco-notice board of the school.

Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College
Indigenous tree planting

Our plan is to revitalise the grounds at the College. We have two projects which are as follows:

  1. Replanting of indigenous trees around our new federally funded school hall.
  2. Planting of indigenous trees along our fenceline, which will be in keeping with promoting our birdlife currently found at the college and Wentworth Creek. It will also act as a wind break for southerly winds and supply shade to students.

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Broughton Anglican College
Saving water at Broughton with a smart meter system

This project will give our K-12 college an 'integrated whole school approach' towards tackling the issue of water efficiency, which is a key area within our School Environmental Management Plan. By obtaining a smart water meter system, students and teachers will be able access up-to-date water usage data in science, mathematics and geography classes. The smart meter will enable real time monitoring, automatic leak detection and increased water savings of up to 30%. Additionally, the smart meter can be programmed to turn water off when the premises are unoccupied.

Buronga Public School
Aquaponics - sustainable use of water at Buronga Public School

Buronga Public School is committed to teaching our students about a sustainable way of life, to benefit us as individuals, our wider community and the planet as a whole. To this end, our school has commenced an outdoor education program in 2010 involving gardening, recycling, composting, worm farming etc. As part of this program, we have been exploring sustainable water use, given its importance to our community as an irrigation settlement on the Murray Darling River. We have explored the concept of aquaponics as a way of producing irrigated food from the waste products of the production of another type of food. It involves the growing of native fish in a unit where the water is cycled through a hydroponic system to remove waste products produced by the fish which are beneficial to the plants and vice versa. Our senior classes would like to explore this further with our own unit.

Byron Bay High School
Aquaponics - an ecologically sustainable food production system

Byron Bay High School aims to model best practice in both sustainable agricultural production methods and environmental education. The 2011 HSC agriculture course will focus on farming for the 21st Century. The school will implement a technology project on aquaponics to provide innovative solutions to environmental issues. As a coastal school environmental education is concerned with protection of marine habitats and native fish populations. Aquaponics involves raising fish stocks in large tanks and running their wastes as nutrient through a raised vegetable bed system. This type of fish production supports the conservation of natural ecosystems and fish populations and avoids the chemical inputs and waste problems of traditional aquaculture. The project will promote development of student knowledge and skills in organic food production. Each subsystem within the school farm interacts to form a sustainable system e.g. animal manures and bedding used for worm farming and composting to build soil organic matter and nutrients for vegetable gardens.

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Caroline Chisholm College
Turning food scraps into vegies - school outreach program

This is a student-teaching-other-students project, where secondary agriculture students take their knowledge and understanding about recycling organics and sustainable gardening practices and mentor primary students in neighbouring schools. The trend to create kitchen garden programs to teach children about the value of fresh fruit and vegetables in a healthy diet, also requires integrating knowledge and skills about soils, biology, chemistry, and primary production which some teachers may not have access to. This project focuses on stage 5/6 students developing teaching resources and mentoring younger students about growing edible plants, organic waste recycling methods, developing safe work practices and augmenting the environmental benefits of sustainable production in their own backyard/schoolyard.

Casino West Public School
Knowing and growing

This program aims to develop student knowledge of soil, water and energy sustainability through practical involvement in the development and maintenance of a school vegetable garden. In a very infertile part of our playground, chosen because of its location next to a large shed with a water tank, we plan to develop better soil through the production of compost and worm castings using the waste resources that we generate everyday. The produce grown will be used by our own canteen to produce daily fresh food products. We also want to establish a watering system which incorporates using a solar panel to generate electricity for the pump to water the garden. By doing this students will be able to see a living model of how it is possible to become sustainable and self sufficient on a small scale, thus helping to reduce our carbon footprint and helping our environment.

Central Mangrove Public School
Living off the land

The Environment Committee and Garden Club students have identified an existing native garden area in urgent need of rehabilitation and restoration. This project will remove weeds, replenish the beds with new soil, re-mulch and add compost before planting new bush tucker plants native to the local area. By collaborating with a local Aboriginal artist, students, staff and community members will paint a wall mural adjacent to the bush tucker garden to complement the theme of this project. Construction of permanent outdoor seating in a co-operative learning (circular) design will provide an outdoor learning area within the bush tucker garden.

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Cherrybrook Technology High School
Outdoor biodiversity learning area

Our project is an outdoor learning area that is focussed on improving biodiversity of species within the school grounds whilst providing curriculum links for students to learn from. We are a large school (largest in NSW) with a large ecological footprint. This will provide us with an opportunity to make a difference in our own school and for students to learn from the journey.

Chullora Public School
Greenies

Our project will implement a recycling program, purchase compost bins and colour coded recycling bins to assist in the sorting of waste and teaching students about alternative waste solutions and empowering them to make a difference. Colour coded bins will include general waste, food scraps (for compost and worm farms), paper recycling and plastic recycling. Students will participate in sustainability and waste reduction lessons with the aim that eventually the program will be led by a student group. The aim of Greenies is to educate and change behaviours of students and the local community. Participants will be empowered to make a change.

Clovelly Public School
Garden of edible native plants and outdoor learning circle

The project creates an 'outdoor room' where children can grow and harvest native foods. The currently unused space will be transformed into an outdoor learning area, containing a garden of native edible plants such as lemon myrtle and native pepper. A circle of wooden benches around a clearing will be created where teachers can lead discussion about the role of native plants in Australian culture and ecology. The garden will be watered using an existing rainwater tank. Indigenous elders will be invited to share their knowledge and educate the children about the uses of the plants they are growing.

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Coogee Public School
Learning green - outdoor classroom and playspace

This project seeks to develop our outdoor 'biodiversity classroom' for the Coogee school community. This classroom will enhance the school's SEMP and enable students, teachers and parents to explore the role of biodiversity in a natural environment within the school grounds. During class times it will be a valuable outdoor classroom and other times it will provide recreational options for children and families as a productive hobby. With a school that has very limited amounts of green space and 49% of students living in units with little or no access to gardens, this project promises a unique hands on experience for many children who otherwise would not have the opportunity of interacting in a natural arena.

Doonside Technology High School
Establishing a frog pond

At the school farm there is an unused pond which we want to modify into a frog pond. Due to its size (20 metres in diameter and 70 centimetres depth) the pond could be modified to an ideal habitat for several frog species. The pond is part sunny, part shady, but not directly under trees. It is located away from neighbouring houses and classrooms. As an important educational resource, the site could have enormous educational values and benefits for our school and the local community.

Edgeworth Public School
Native reflection garden

Our native reflection garden will be constructed in a central area within our school that is currently a barren, dusty thoroughfare. We envisage a peaceful, tranquil area for walking through and appreciating the beauty and unique character of native plants. This garden will be a green oasis in our school grounds, as we currently have no garden beds that are native, healthy, vibrant or weed free. As a school, our native reflection garden will be the first point of inspiration in establishing native gardens across our grounds that are cared for, watered, loved and enjoyed by our students and our school community.

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Fern Bay Public School
Fern Bay Schools vegetables and native garden project

The grounds at the entrance to Fern Bay School are unattractive to students and the community. The few garden beds we have, have been neglected and are now over run with weeds. There are very few healthy plants to provide habitat or food sources for bird life and fauna. We plan to create new garden beds with native plantings to enhance the aesthetic appeal of our school. In line with the schools 'Crunch and Sip' program, we have established a compost area for fruit and vegetable scraps. Our existing worm farm has rotted and needs replacing. We then plan to create a sustainable vegetable garden so that the children will have the opportunity to increase their awareness of healthy eating by their involvement and care of the garden. All gardens will be watered using our own bore water and fertilised with our own compost.

Forestville Montessori School
Conservation of the natural bushland at Dundundra Falls

We have formed a partnership with the Dundundra Falls Trust to assist the Trust in protecting and managing the local bushland adjoining our secondary campus at Terrey Hills. This special piece of bushland has many endangered plant colonies and plant species. The project will involve soil and water testing, photography, weeding and propagation and planting of seedlings. All the students of the school are already engaged in the removal of weeds under the supervision of a local council funded bush regeneration officer. In the allocated area, the crofton weed has been removed and we are moving on to the wild tobacco.

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Gwynneville Public School
Indigenous bushfoods garden and cultural studies zone

The Indigenous bushfoods garden and cultural studies zone is an interactive outdoor learning space that will enable students to engage a rich learning experience by exploring issues of environmental biodiversity and cultural significance. This project is a new stage of an existing program at Gwynneville Public School - the Environmental Sustainability Education Program which incorporates the Permaculture Gardens Project. This program is a whole-of-school approach to sustainability that has been in development for the last 3 years and each part of the project articulates to specific learning outcomes outlined in the school's environmental curriculum. The project will be established involving students, staff, parents and community artists. It is designed to compliment existing outdoor learning areas by filling an environmental, cultural and educational niche largely neglected within the school. It will develop a sense of place and better understanding of belonging by exploring the continuity and connections between contemporary and historical human-environment interactions. The zone will be planted with a bush tucker habitat and embellished with interactive sculptures and learning materials exploring the theme of connectivity to the environment past and present. It will form an intricate part of the school's environs, being established in front of the new school hall, acting as a corridor between the old and the new.

Iluka Public School
Iluka Public School SEMP: educating, integrating and activating

The Iluka Public School produced its SEMP in March 2009. Some projects have been implemented (such as the organic food gardens project), however, there is still some way to go in integrating our SEMP with the general learning outcomes gained through the school and practising a 'whole school' approach to sustainability. This project seeks to assist teaching staff and students at the Iluka Public School in linking the SEMP to the school curriculum and providing hands on learning opportunities in environmental education that will also enhance the literacy, numeracy and creative arts outcomes at the school. This will involve preparing lesson plans, assisting teachers with their implementation, running 'demonstration' classes on sustainability and better coordinating projects and activities related to the SEMP at the school. This will also involve community outreach through specific activities, projects and events that will also be linked with other schools in the sustainable schools network in the area.

Jamberoo Public School
Conversion of current herb garden into the 'living classroom'

We aim to extend our current herb garden, composting area and poultry facilities into a 'living classroom' by incorporating a kitchen garden propagation area and cooking facilities. This will provide diverse learning opportunities for the children with hands on experience. Volunteers, children and their families, community partners and staff can come together to enjoy the produce harvested. In the long term, the produce will support the establishment of a school canteen promoting healthy eating options. Any excess produce sold at the local farmers market which will assist the P&C with fundraising for the school.

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Jannali Public School
Creating native garden to enhance hands on learning

With the construction of a new outdoor environmental education learning space near completion, the aim of the project is to further enhance rich environmental learning opportunities within this area. There are many large trees surrounding this area however, there is a need for smaller shrubs and other flora. The project will involve the planting of native flora to create a bush tucker garden to enable the incorporation of Aboriginal Perspectives and Environmental Education in the teaching and learning cycle. Another aim for the project is to also increase sustainability for all living things within this area. This project will make an enormous difference throughout the school in creating a stimulating and influential learning space in which environmental and indigenous awareness can be increasingly integrated successfully across the wider school curriculum.

Keira High School
Organic compost and vegetable garden teaching space

Keira High School has a very productive organic vegetable garden. We would like to make this a teaching garden that would allow teachers to integrate the garden into mainstream teaching programs. At present, the garden is managed by Keira's Environment Group and only accommodates a small number of students. Our project would aim to introduce seating, work benches, teaching resources and a noticeboard to allow a class of twenty students to use the garden safely and effectively as an educational resource.

Kirrawee Public School
Creating at native garden for hands-on learning

Kirrawee School sits on large grounds which has three street entrances each with green areas. The greater playground is covered with grass for games and sport. There are many discrete areas of the school green space; established trees 'forest', narrow fence hedge and a manicured garden. The aim of the project is to empower the students to become the environmental caretakers of their own local area, by regenerating some of the school grounds to a more natural state. The students will work in short and long-term learning plans, to plant and germinate seeds, tabulate and graph their growth patterns and eventually plant out the seedlings. The newly planted area will be monitored and maintained to develop into an established native garden. This will become a valuable natural resource for the school and its students now and in the future by allowing them to see first hand the reestablishment of native species and the ecosystem they provide.

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Main Arm Public School
Bushtucker and edible garden

Main Arm Upper Public School staff, students and community would like to develop an environmentally proactive school where we are committed to ensure that environmental education is regarded as the responsibility of all. We endeavour to create an outdoor learning space by rehabilitating a currently unused area into a bushtucker and edible food space. Students, teachers and parents will remove noxious weeds, plant local plants, create outdoor seating for lessons and implement sustainable practices throughout our school consisting of reducing our use of wasteful products and effectively disposing of waste through recycling and composting of green waste. Students will be involved in studying units of work related to our management of waste, researching on local bushtucker and edible plants and creating a reference book about the foods in their garden space.

Matraville Soldiers' Settlement Primary School
Matraville leafy greens

Matraville leafy greens is a project to enhance the learning opportunities for our students and community in relation to environmental care and understanding through fruit and vegetable gardening. The project will have both immediate impact through the involvement of staff, students and community members and long term potential as the gardens are intended to last in perpetuity. Teachers are keen to integrate the practical aspects of gardening into the curriculum through such disciplines as maths, english and science. It is hoped that produce from the gardens will be used in the school canteen to improve nutrition and surplus may be sold at cheap prices to families.

Medowie Christian School
Organic school gardening program

To provide a purposeful learning environment which is continually expanding and where student input is valued and celebrated through active learning. Students will connect with outcome groups from all key learning areas. We would like to establish a school worm farm and create new compost for the school gardens. Students will be encouraged and educated to dispose of organic waste in an appropriate composting bin located in the covered outdoor learning area. The students in the living skills program will establish the garden and be responsible for weeding, watering and monitoring plant progress. For our students to access this active learning experience our school needs to re-establish a vegetable garden and create a sustainable organic garden environment. As a young school, it is still creating, designing and establishing native school gardens (beautifying the school).Through the creation of the organic garden students will develop efficient resource strategies and improve the school's natural learning environment.

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Mitchell High School
Gardening - tidying up the school

To tidy up Mitchell High School by replanting the garden beds outside the demountables, removing weed growth from garden beds around classrooms, pruning the rose garden, planting trees in the year 10 and senior area to provide shade to students and creating a vegetable garden to assist the Technology and Applied Studies department. Students will also work to reduce the amount of litter within the school.

Monteagle Public School
Indigenous learnscape, native flora and vegetable garden

The school owns a large block of land next to the school site which is continually overrun with weeds. To overcome this problem the school community will create an indigenous learnscape area which includes seating, a bush tucker garden - where students will plant and label indigenous plants traditionally used for food, as well as other significant flora. To build a no dig vegetable and herb garden combined with a compost area and chookyard. To create an area of native flora that provides biodiversity and a habitat for native animals. This grant covers the indigenous learnscape and bush garden component of the project.

Moruya Public School
Moruya Public School kitchen garden

The Moruya School kitchen garden project aims to establish a productive vegetable garden, in an environmentally sustainable way, that will be utilised by the whole school community as an outdoor learning area where important elements of the curriculum can be presented to the students in a practical environment, therefore improving learning outcomes by catering to all learning styles. The need for such a project in our community is evident in a multitude of areas such as the need to educate all members of our community on the relationship between the environment and the production of clean, healthy food. The school kitchen garden project allows valuable lessons on environmental sustainable issues to be taught in a realistic environment with tangible benefits.

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Mount Pritchard East Public School
An outdoor learning area in a garden setting

To develop an outdoor learning area in a garden setting, to encourage birds and enable students to participate in creating and maintaining the garden area. The outdoor garden area is to be supported by a composting project and watered from tanks collecting water off the new hall. This allows students to be part of, and see first hand, a sustainable cycle that is replenished with compost made from garden/ playground green waste and watered with collected rain water. To improve the school environment and increase a sense of community and pride in beautifying the school environment. Additionally, the garden site will beautify an area that is part of a large, open grass area and provide a fun space for students to play and interact with nature. Overall the school playground has little biodiversity (2 trees between the asphalt and oval areas) and has a large asphalt area and a large grassed oval. There are a few tall trees and a large covered outdoor learning area over the asphalt but the oval lacks shade and is a bare open space.

Northmead Public School
Northmead's gardening adventure

To continue to establish a permaculture garden at Northmead Public School in partnership with TAFE and the great Northmead Public School community. The program will design a permaculture garden and allow the students with community help to produce a garden that will teach the 12 permaculture principles and values to the students of Northmead Public School. This project will demonstrate environmental sustainability.

North Sydney Boys High School
Plastic bottle reduction scheme

The grant will be used to fund a nalgene bottle that will be included in the year 7 school package. This is part of an effort to remove plastic consumption entirely from our school, which will reduce non-biodegradable waste and improve ecological sustainability.

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Nowra High School
Sustain through knowledge and inclusive practise

The aim of the project is to compliment the already established worm farm and compost/recycling/waste management program and links with Shoalhaven City Council by creating an outdoor learning area for students with multiple physical and intellectual disabilities. The outdoor learning area includes: a water wise, bird attracting, native sensory garden, permaculture/organic heritage seed garden, water feature and a raingarden collector that protects waterways from run off, turning an unkept area into an ecologically sustainable environment. Maintenance will be kept to a minimum and native clumping grasses and compact native shrubs will be added. The outdoor learning area will show students how to prepare soil by adding water retaining crystals, soil conditioner, irrigation system and good mulch. It will create a collage of sensory and 'hands on' experiences and be a working model encouraging sustainable use of species and habitats. The official opening of the outdoor learning area will coincide with 'International People with a Disability Day 2011'.

Oyster Bay Public School
Oyster Bay Public School waste reduction initiative

The students, staff and parent community of Oyster Bay have concluded, in a groundswell of grassroots communication and discussion, that a whole-of-school waste management and waste reduction strategy is long overdue and much needed, particularly given that Oyster Bay was declared Sydney's first plastic bag free suburb. Our school community is dedicated to implementing the action items identified in our newly formulated waste management aspect of our SEMP in order to bring about positive, concrete and sustainable change in behaviour throughout our entire school community in regard to waste avoidance, waste reduction and effective recycling.

Peterborough School
School leavers bio-intensive garden jobs (B.I.G. Jobs)

The school has a small vegetable patch, using it as a teaching and learning area. All the produce is used in their cooking and healthy lifestyle program. Senior students have demonstrated their ability to maintain this garden. They have however identified environmental concerns and this project aims to address them. The school already composts, has a worm farm and uses rainwater with their vegetable patch, however, they are not self-sufficient and currently experience some pest infestations. The next step is to introduce bio-intensive gardening practices. Therefore, this project will add a greenhouse, heirloom seeds and plants. Staff and students will propagate the seeds, companion plant and eventually save the seeds from some produce. Each week fresh produce will be used in the cooking program. Not only will students learn skills and methods for eco sustainability but their produce will be better tasting, free of pesticides and will provide quality seeds for future planting. Nothing will be wasted. Newspaper will be recycled as pots by students.

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Primbee Public School
Primbee Public School environmental education club

As part of the school's focus on environmentally sustainable living, it is establishing a series of environmental 'clubs' aimed at holistically teaching students about sustainability. This will include a 'garden club' which will itself become an 'outdoor classroom' teaching students how to grow fruit, vegetables and other food for consumption; the 'environment club' with lessons built around monitoring of school resource usage, sustainable growing and resource re-use (including the development of effective waste processes); and 'food sustainability club' based on eating healthy, locally grown food. These clubs will provide the basis of a holistic and relevant learning experience for students who will learn techniques they can adopt in their everyday lives and that they can take home to share with their family.

Queanbeyan Public School
Queanbeyan Public School pupils learn to grow vegetables sustainably

The project is to build raised vegetable and herb gardens and grow a range of fruit trees. These will be used in teaching and involving the whole school in learning how to sustainably grow sufficient, healthy and budget-friendly food in small plots, using compost from the school's existing SEMP recycling and waste minimisation programme. The pupils will be taught the water saving and cost value and efficiency of drip irrigation using environmentally sustainable rain water tanks. The school is using this project to encourage families to grow vegetables and fruit at home.

Rainbow Ridge School for Steiner Education
Rainbow Ridge School biodynamic kitchen garden

Rainbow Ridge School is a self sustaining, renewable energy school, generating its own power, collecting its own water and with on-site treatment for all waste. It borders natural bushland and is landscaped with native flora. We have tuck shop and cooking classes all through the primary years and we envisage having a school garden supplying fresh produce. Agriculture is a special teaching component in year 3 with many different aspects of agriculture integrated throughout all the primary classes. We would like to establish a flower and vegetable garden to support our teaching. We will be teaching composting as a way to regenerate the soil for future productivity and wormfarming as a way to return compostable waste to soil. Our soil science will include measuring the pH of the soil and maths components will include measurement and volume calculations of garden beds and crop yields.

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Rathmines Public School
Sustainable organic vegetable garden for Rathmines Public School

This project involves the setting up of an organic vegetable teaching garden on the grounds of Rathmines Public School. The money requested will allow us to establish a system of six vegetable garden beds and mini-orchard. The gardens will provide a much needed focal point for hands on activities needed to introduce our students to the many benefits of sustainable living. Students will be actively involved in every stage of the gardening project from initial design to the planting, harvesting and sharing of produce and along the way learn about making healthy lifestyle choices in a sustainable, environmentally friendly setting.

Richmond North Public School
Building on our Hawkesbury heritage

Our school is on the rich alluvial floodplains of the Hawkesbury Nepean River. We have a large tract of north-facing land. To give our students a tangible experience of their heritage, to assist in maintaining biodiversity and to equip our students with the skills to be sustainable producers of food, in stage 1 of our project we shall design and build a vegetable garden. We shall study the crops that the first settlers around Richmond planted and the indigenous vegetables that the Darug people had traditionally harvested. We shall plant some of these vegetables. In stage 2 we shall add a small orchard, more vegetable beds and bush tucker plants and in stage 3, a planting of local native species.

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre
Sustainability education and learning centre

To develop a sustainability centre and use it as a demonstration site for students visiting the Environmental Education Centre. The centre will showcase best practice sustainability practices and technologies. Recycling, harnessing solar energy and enhancing biodiversity will be our focus. Interactive student directed activities and interpretative signs will expand the student's knowledge and understanding of sustainable practices. The sustainability centre will encourage the students to reflect on their own practices at home and at school and prepare them to take a positive role and greater responsibility in the community.

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Sacred Heart School Coolah
Rehabilitation of school grounds

To further extend the school grounds environmentally through the planting of native shrubs, olive trees, fruit trees and extending gardens following the building of new areas to the school under the Building the Education Revolution funding. The project will be undertaken in conjunction with four planter box style vegetable gardens, surrounded by three fruit trees within our school to teach all students (also involving community members) the benefits and value of knowing where our food comes from, and how it is produced. The school will also introduce recycling of food waste and learn the value of contributing fresh produce amongst the community.

St. George School
Land clearance to create outdoor learning area

Our environmental project is to maximise use of our school grounds for student learning and effective waste management. The area behind our classrooms is overgrown with shrubs that attracts spiders and an old wooden framed, open compost heap is overgrown with grass, making it unusable at the present time. We need to clear these shrubs and compost structure, landscaping it to make way for a safe learning environment for students with a designated space for lidded compost bins. This will make a difference as it provides an area for a composting program that will be a whole school approach.

St. Ignatius College Riverview
Developing the riverview environment walk for community use

The Environment Committee at Riverview undertook to develop an environment walk to celebrate biodiversity month in 2009. This walk highlights the environmental points of interest within the school both natural and built. Riverview is located on the Lane Cove River and occupies 53 hectares, of which the local community is encouraged to use. Development of the Candover Environment Walk will be done in many stages but it is hoped that in this stage we will be able to improve our communities connection to place, encourage our community to contemplate God in all, and improve the messages we give along the walk through signage.

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St. Joseph's Primary School - Port Macquarie
St Joseph's outdoor learning area

St Joseph's Primary school will create an outdoor learning area that contains native, drought tolerant plants, seating and a path. The outdoor learning area will be created outside the library. There is tiered seating under a verandah which will provide an extension to the newly created space. This will be the first outdoor learning area of its type at our school and will provide a much needed passive area for individuals, study groups and as an area of sanctuary on the playground. Students will benefit from the classroom being extended into the improved natural environment. Many students also seek a passive area to appreciate nature and chill out on the playground. The area ear-marked for the project is currently barren, compacted and unsightly; this project will result in the land becoming a usable, integral part of our school that enhances the school environment markedly.

Southern Cross School K - 12
Wastewise project

As part of our SEMP, waste avoidance and recovery to minimise waste to landfill is an integral focus of our sustainability vision. Southern Cross Environment Team Waste Division conducted a waste audit in 2009, which identified the potential to divert a significant amount of recyclables and organic waste from landfill. A number of recommendations have been developed to help achieve our SEMP goals. Firstly, organic waste will be collected and transported by volunteers to worm farms and compost bins. The primary classrooms, Cooking Department and selected staff rooms will have collection bins provided. Secondly, co-mingled recycling will be trialled and implemented if viable. Co-mingled recycling bins will be distributed, collected and emptied into a bulk co-mingle bin by volunteers. Thirdly, the whole school will be encouraged to participate in nude food days and paper free days to raise awareness about waste responsibility. Finally, our successful paper recycling program will continue to be monitored.

Temora Public
Temora Public School native gardens project

Temora Public School has an area at the front of the school that has been covered in uplifted bitumen for many years. The bitumen has now been removed and we hope to turn the area into an aesthetically appealing native garden which will add to the appeal of the front of the school and give a positive first impression to visitors. Students will be involved in planning and planting the garden. The native plants will attract local fauna, improve the soil and complement the playground.

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Urunga Public School
Urunga Public School's ecofriendly, tasty and educational gardens

Urunga Public School requires:

  • more educational resources, such as books and craft equipment, both for the children who regularly work in the existing kitchen garden and to attract more children to this and the adjacent bush tucker garden and greenhouse area
  • signage in both common and local Indigenous names for the adjacent bush tucker garden, as well as some plant re-generation and paths to make this garden more welcoming and safe
  • establishment of a new native garden near the bush tucker garden to extend the wildlife corridor created by the bush tucker garden and adjacent native vegetation, to improve biodiversity and provide a water-wise, eco-friendly and welcoming entrance to the school.

Vacy Public School
Playground garden to create environmental education resource

Vacy Public School's project is the creation of an environmental education area. To create this environmental educational resource the school community will rehabilitate the school's outdoor lunch area which has sustained serious damage due to recent building works. A gravel path will lead through plantings of bush tucker trees, native trees, shrubs and native grasses along with a pond. This area will provide teachers and students with a unique teaching resource. Eating areas will provide students with a pleasant place to eat. Students will be able to showcase this area to visitors.

Vincentia High School
Get down and dirty with the worms

As part of our schools existing technology/ag course students receive hands on knowledge, learning how to plant, grow, harvest and sell vegetables and grapes grown in our ag farm. The aim is to expand student and staff involvement by implementing a cross key learning area program encouraging organic principles - recycling, composting/worm farming. This will provide a deeper understanding on how to live sustainably and involve the community by adopting similar strategies at home. This will be a whole school project encouraging the benefits of recycling, providing nutritious food and ultimately reducing the school/community's waste output.

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Waverly Action for Youth Services
Smart choices garden to kitchen project

The Smart choices garden to kitchen project will develop lasting positive attitudes to a wide range of foods, with consequent long term health benefits. The garden will also teach the students how to use the resources we have and give an appreciation of how easy it is to utilise fresh produce. In terms of the curriculum, students will be able to apply their skills and knowledge to benefit their outcomes in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education. Learning about choosing healthy options to benefit their lifestyle in addition to outdoor activities is directly related to subject content. This will be beneficial to the school community as it will provide variation in teaching material and location, increasing student interest and knowledge as a result.

Wingham High School
Wastebusters: waste avoidance and recycling at Wingham High School

Having already commenced stage one of our environmental management plan (water reduction), we now wish to tackle stage two: waste reduction, avoidance and recycling. This is an area of concern that has been identified by students, teachers and the community. Currently we only have one skip bin for paper and cardboard and no system for collection from classrooms, staffrooms and playground. All other rubbish goes to landfill. We hope to combat this initially by obtaining 5 recycling bins from Greater Taree City Council for plastic, cans and glass. Colour coded bins will also be provided for the playground along with crates for paper collection in all classrooms and staffrooms. A small transfer point (shed) will be constructed from recycled materials to store bins and eliminate risk of theft. An education program for students and teachers will be launched to encourage waste avoidance and ensure new systems for collection are implemented. A roster will be developed for collection and sorting by interested students.

Young High School
Waterwise, productive and sustainable garden

The aim of this project is to transform a neglected area of the school into a practical environmental learning space that will develop students' skills across a number of key learning areas. We will create a large garden along the boundary the school shares with the town's main park. Next to the outside fence a sustainable screen of endemic plants between the school and the park will be grown. This will enhance the visual appearance of the area for both the local community and school students. Behind the screen a permaculture kitchen garden will be established. The garden will contain not only conventional vegetables and herbs to supply the Home Economics department but it will also grow traditional fruiting plants and bush tucker. Members of the school's indigenous community, students and staff from Social Science, Home Economics, Agriculture and Science will use the area as an outdoor learning environment. The garden will be watered using the school's new system which harvests rain water and supplements the supply with bore water.

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Page last updated: 27 February 2011