Project summaries: 2015 Eco Schools program

The Environmental Trust approved 78 grants, which includes projects working with children with special needs, indicated with an asterisk (*). The list of successful projects and project summaries are detailed below.

 2015 Eco Schools - grants
OrganisationProject title
Abbotsford Public School Places and paces
Arranounbai School Learning through nature

Aspect Central Coast School *

Autism-supportive vegetable and herb sensory garden

Attunga Public School

Let it grow - let us grow

Ballina High School

Aquaponics for sustainable hospitality

Barrack Heights Public School

Permaculture garden

Belair Public School

Belair Public School sustainable environmental learning garden

Bexhill Public School

Bexhill bush tucker project

Bexley North Public School

Oasis garden

Camden High School *

The sustainabiity hub

Canley Heights Public School

Canley Heights outdoor area project

Canowindra Public School

Outdoor learning area

Canterbury Vale School *

Canterbury Vale School sustainable food garden

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School

Growing our future: from seed to belly

Captains Flat Public School

Captains Flat garden club project

Carroll College

Carroll College paddock to plate (P2P)

Chatswood Public School

Sustainability in the city

Cheltenham Girls High School

Greening the STEM

Cook School *

Reconnecting with disengaged youth through environmental learning opportunities

Corindi Public School

Our Gumbaynggirr garden

Corpus Christi Catholic High School

Corpus Christi kitchen garden

Dapto High School *

Local Indigenous bush foods and medicine garden

Dungay Public School

Bee alive, save the hive

Dungog Primary School *

School organic permaculture garden

Earlwood Public School

The recycle collective

Five Islands Secondary College

Worm farm seats for team green sustainability crew @ FISC

Girraween Public School

Girraween - a place of flowers

Glossodia Public School

Catchment awareness in Glossodia

Gordon East Public School

Gordon East Public School sustainable garden project - Gordon green thumbs

Great Lakes College - Forster Campus *

Outdoor learning area

Greenwich Public School

Bringing back the birds and the bees

Gymea Bay Public School

ITunesU course: investigating local history and future pressures of natural and built environments

Heathcote High School

Outdoor learning area

Hill End Public School

Hill End Public School community seed saving network

Hunters Hill Public School

Gardening for sustainability

Illawarra Sports High School

Illawarra Sports High School - plastic waste warriors

Kangaroo Valley Public School

FIG sustainable community garden for the children of Kangaroo Valley Public School

Karonga School *

Food forest

Kempsey High School *

Kempsey Agricultural Students Association waste reduction project

Leura Public School

Live well at Leura kitchen garden project

Lomandra School *

Live well at Leura kitchen garden project

Macquarie Fields Public School

Macquarie Fields Public School Indigenous garden

Main Arm Upper Public School

Feather glider habitat monitoring and conservation

Marrickville West Primary School

Produce garden and composting at Marrickville West

Mascot Public School

Our sensory oasis
Merrylands Public School * Inclusive garden project
Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College Urban native garden
Mount Riverview Public School Installing WaterSave smart meter and irrigation system
Mudgee High School Aquaponics at Mudgee High School
Murwillumbah High School * Sustainable food production and conservation of resources
Muswellbrook High School * Focus centre food garden
Nana Glen Public School Learning through growing 
Narranga Public School Narranga Public School living classroom project
Northern Beaches Secondary College * Sustainability - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Nemingha Public School Our garden is our favourite teacher
Nimbin Central School Nimbin Central School eco management project 
Northlakes High School *

Support unit garden

Ourimbah Public School Connecting with our rainforest
Penrith Valley Learning Centre * Living classroom 
Pittwater High School Pittwater High School marshland management: riparian restoration, litter and flood prevention
Rainbow Ridge School for Steiner Education

Rainbow Ridge wildlife friendly food garden

St Ives Park Primary School  St Ives Park Public School eco garden
St Mary's Primary School Young How does my garden grow? Understanding the food process from patch to plate.
St Mary's Primary School Grafton

Dig for plenty garden

St Paul the Apostle Primary School Design it! Then make it!
Surveyors Creek Public School *

Surveyors sensory garden

The Pocket Public School Schoolyard habitat project
Thornton Public School

Thornton Public School triassic learning track

Warrah Special School *

Warrah School farming initiative

Warrimoo Public School Warrimoo Public School sustainable vegetable garden
Werrington County Public School * Friendship garden
Wewak Street School *

Raised garden beds and improvement of existing garden beds

Wilkins Public School Walanga 'naminina: urban kids caring for land
Wisemans Ferry Public School

Hands-on learning garden for happy and healthy children and communities

Wongarbon Public School * Chook yard and raised beds for vegetable and herb gardens
Yass High School * Integrated learning
Yenda Public School Yenda's kitchen garden
Young Public School *

Superb Recycling: An outdoor learning area and sensory garden using recycled materials

 

78 grants at $3500 each, totalling $273,000

Project summaries: schools A - C

Abbotsford Public School
Places and spaces

Needed to create a natural play space for children.  The aim is to create a sustainable organic space with a balance of fun and excitement in a controlled, managed environment.  It will be an area where children can connect with and learn about wildlife, horticulture and biodiversity.  The play elements would be inspired by children's ideas including a stepping stone path and planting designed to be robust and interactive.  This space is required for children to interact safely in the environment and address specific learning outcomes in the Science curriculum.

Arranounbai School
Learning through nature

This project is an additional stage to our environmental program. The project will be aimed at developing an unused section of our school ground into an eco-sensory classroom. The creation of the eco-sensory classroom will provide students with an area that is wheelchair accessible and appropriate for the diverse needs of our students. The unused area of our school encompasses bushland that will be cleared and regenerated with native plants. Introduced flora will be removed and replaced with native plants, encouraging bird life and supporting our existing native bee hive. Through the implementation of pathways and viewing platforms, this area will be made fully accessible, ensuring that all students are able to experience the schools natural environment.

Aspect Central Coast School
Autism-supportive vegetable and herb sensory garden

The school is ideally located on a central coast fertile slope.  The school previously offered the subject Agriculture. For students interested in horticultural practices they are able to pursue this privately out of school time, or by undertaking a TAFE course offered to students in Year 11 and 12. Younger students who could benefit from engaging in horticultural activities may experience challenges in being able to access such opportunities. Establishing a vegetable and herb garden, with a worm farm to supply nutrients to the garden, will provide the special needs students at St Peters Catholic College with a range of real-world learning experiences. The produce from the garden is planned to be used in the school-based cafe, school canteen, and Food Technology classes all of which include our students. Through this project we can support special needs students to experience gardening and plant identification, money handling, food preparation/personal hygiene, waste management/recycling, team work and working independently. These experiences enable the students to respond to their sensory needs, extend the curriculum to outside the classroom, expose them to range of future career options, build their independence, enhance the social and employability skills and provide them with learning experiences their disability may otherwise preclude them from.

Attunga Public School
Let it grow - let us grow

Attunga Public School is a small school of 27 students, from a low socio-economic community. Our students have limited gardening-cooking experiences and life opportunities. The school’s evaluation process identified a need to provide enriching educational experiences through a life skills program, which is embedded into the students’ individual learning plans, to ultimately increase student Literacy and Numeracy outcomes.  We are a Crunch and Sip school and plan to investigate the Live Life Well program to educate staff, students and the local community about healthier eating and lifestyles, as well as sustainability.  Our school intends to establish a sustainability and environmentally friendly practices focus, as a means to increasing student engagement and self-esteem, as the catalyst to increasing student learning outcomes. Through the acquisition of this grant we hope to make a significant difference to the students' lives.  We aim to develop the students’ life skills and increase their self-sufficiency. The success of this will be measured in the students’ ability to establish their own vegetable plot, grow and cultivate a crop, then create and cook a healthy meal utilising their produce for our school or family.

Ballina High School
Aquaponics for sustainable hospitality

Ballina High School is a Marine Education School of Excellence and an award winning Hospitality Trade School.  An Aquaponics system while teaching many curricula objectives will also sustain the production of fresh organic food to use in the schools kitchen and community.  Aquaponics is a sustainable and innovative food production system. It combines hydroponics and aquaculture to produce vegetables and seafood in a closed system.  The project will bring science and ecology to life by showing a living, breathing example of what can happen when people work with nature to grow their food. Students use the grow-feed-educate model by planting seedlings, maintaining vegetables and feeding fish.  The creation of a sustainable outdoor learning space will complement the existing Marine Resource centre and Hospitality gardens.

Belair Public School
Belair Public School sustainable environmental learning garden

Establish a sustainable learning garden divided into vegetation focus areas for students to incorporate into their Key Learning Areas. This enables hands-on outdoor learning and a skill for life caring for the environment. The garden will include vegetable, sensory, bush tucker, and native to learn about each type, follow and visualise daily and seasonal changes, and their unique contributions to the environment.  Using the vegetable garden the children will be able to learn how food grows from the ground to that which they see on their plate and promote recycling. Using the bush tucker garden, staff from the DEC Awabakal centre will be able to use the bush tucker garden with real world examples on sustainability. The sensory garden will highlight the beauty of nature and build a sense of appreciation for the environment, while the native garden will assist students identify plants and their needs that they encounter in their local play grounds. The garden will also encourage the presence of local wild life such as birds and butterflies right beside the classrooms.  A 24 square metre enclosure has already been constructed in the middle of the school to house and protect the garden. This location makes the garden a school focal point and community showcase.

Bexhill Public School
Bexhill bush tucker project

Bexhill Public School would like to create an outdoor learning space and bush tucker garden in a nature area of the school that is currently not used and is overgrown and in need of maintenance. This area of the school also currently has water run-off and erosion problems which would be addressed within the project brief.  Students and community members will be invited to help design and transform the area, and local Widjabul Aboriginal elders will be consulted to provide an understanding of Widjabul culture and historical land use. Interpretive outdoor signs will be installed to assist students identify Aboriginal bush tucker plants.  Teaching units and lessons will also be developed to implement cross curriculum programs that are 21st century focused and relevant to students.

Bexley North Public School
Oasis garden

The Oasis garden will transform an under-utilised area into a usable outdoor classroom and natural learning space.  This will provide a calm and tranquil environment which will inspire student creativity.  The space is also an important ‘calm area’ for our students with special needs.  The Oasis garden will include seating to conduct lessons; landscaping and a frog pond to bring students closer to nature. Research shows that contact with nature is associated with many health benefits for children, including improved cognitive function; increased creativity; improved interaction with adults, reduced ADHA symptoms and reduced rates of aggression.  In addition to providing an outdoor space for teachers to conduct lessons, it is also anticipated that the Oasis garden will assist in improving all of these attributes in our children.  Currently, the area behind the school administrative offices is overgrown and is not usable.  This project will transform this idle, unused area into one that will support the school's teaching and learning needs and promote sustainability.

Camden High School
The sustainability hub

The establishment of a sustainable, organic kitchen garden at Camden High School would provide students with a cross-curricular, outdoor learning site to engage support and mainstream students in sustainable practices (permaculture). The planning, implementation and maintenance of the site would facilitate an increased knowledge within students and staff of Eco-principles and sustainable systems via the elimination of chemicals, the preservation of resources and the production of self-sustaining organic fertilisers. The implementation of alternative pest control and soil maintenance will engage the school community in the development of a centre for learning that will be shared with our extended community via community events.

Canley Heights Public School
Canley Heights outdoor area project

The aim of our project is to create a space in an unused area within the school, designed, used and maintained by our students, that is safe and supports their development, learning and well-being. Recent student surveys indicated a desire for a quiet retreat space. Our students will be working towards adding native flora to care for and protect the environment. We aim to promote Indigenous perspectives, develop knowledge, values and behaviour in our students that support environmental sustainability and focus on educating students so they are knowledgeable and confident to lead their peers.

Canowindra Public School
Outdoor learning area

Canowindra Public School has designed an outdoor learning area and garden which includes raised vegetable garden beds, chook pen and outdoor learning area in a previously unused piece of land within the school grounds. The vegetable garden beds will be made from aluminium tanks, the chook pen will be constructed under our silky oak tree with several garden beds of herbs and native plants scattered around the area. Our outdoor learning area will be positioned adjacent to the vegetable garden progressing slightly up hill. A ramp and retaining wall will allow easy access for three of our students in wheelchairs. A dry rock bed and wooden seating accompanied with drought resistant plants will be incorporated in the outdoor learning area to provide a quiet, tranquil place to work.

Canterbury Vale School
Canterbury Vale School sustainable food garden

Canterbury Vale School aims to design, build and maintain a sustainable vegetable garden within the school grounds. This project will help to support the school hospitality program that is already in place and will work to educate students about the value of sustainable living and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  The school plans to utilise the funds to build up the existing garden bed and to divide it up into sections that will ultimately serve to house a variety of different herbs, fruit and veg. This will help to foster the development of a new skill set within our students are a deeper understanding of 'food' and where it comes from.

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School
Growing our future: From seed to belly

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School advocates the imperative role of schools and education in building a healthy and more sustainable future for our society. The kitchen garden project, Growing our future, endeavours to develop within the school strong ethics of caring for the earth, the community and healthy eating using permaculture principles. It aims to equip children with knowledge and skills in growing, harvesting and preparing food sustainably, regenerating biodiversity, soil health and vegetative productivity, and a deeper understanding of the local environment, our place within it and the origins of our food. The project aims to design, establish and maintain food-growing gardens that utilise the niches around the classrooms so that children may easily integrate observation, maintenance and care of their gardens into their daily learning experiences. The grant will allow for the purchasing of materials required to build the foundation for the garden program, such as garden bed materials, equipment and tools for the children, seeds and trees.

Captains Flat Public School
Captains Flat garden club project

Captains Flat is isolated with no general store, located 50 kilometres from Queanbeyan. A small kitchen garden was established in 2013 with the assistance of our local community. The garden uses organic practices where possible with an emphasis on companion planting for a healthy, disease and pest free garden, and composting to close the waste loop. The Garden Club program will enable us to increase the size of our garden to enable us to grow a greater quantity and variety of fresh food which will enhance both our cooking program and Crunch 'n' Sip program, demonstrating to the wider community just what is possible in Captains Flat’s challenging climate. A larger garden will allow us to sell excess produce at our local markets more regularly, further strengthening our ties with the local community.  A larger garden will also allow us to introduce the important sustainable practices of planting green manure crops and no-dig gardening. We also plan to install a water tank which in addition to making our garden more sustainable, will help raise awareness of water as a valuable resource. In addition to gaining gardening skills, including design and construction, our project will develop valuable life skills and promote sustainability and healthy lifestyles in our school and community.

Carroll College
Carroll College Paddock to Plate (P2P)

The program will develop students’ understanding of sustainability. It involves Primary Industry students (Years 11-12) growing produce in multiple locations around the college that will then be used in Hospitality classes (Years 9-12) for catering.  A farmers market run by Business classes (Years 11-12) will be held regularly to sell surplus stock.  The resulting program will see:

  • all money raised being invested back into the P2P program
  • 100 per cent of Hospitality produce being provided by the program
  • an outdoor learning area also used by Science, Mathematics and Geography
  • a growing understanding of sustainability amongst the wider student body

Chatswood Public School
Sustainability in the city

Our proposal is to extend and develop the small, but already well established, kitchen garden and environmental programs at the school. Further enhancements of the program will have multiple benefits for a range of school programs and will reinforce the sustainability of the school's kitchen garden. Our aim being to bridge disconnect between food production and urban areas, through student involvement and observations of the Sustainability in the city project.  The main focus of the project is to develop the self-sufficiency and self-reliance through vertical food growing around the playground. It will demonstrate intelligent use of an already crowded playground space of a busy city school. Currently, the playground climate consists mainly of bitumen and soft fall, with only a few trees remaining. This project would transform this space to a greener softer space whilst still retaining the playground space for students to play. The second component of the program is to enhance and develop the school's sustainable practices, by extending our composting capabilities through the purchase of more worm farms. This also provides greater opportunities to link-in with the sustainability components of the new Australian Science Curriculum.

Cheltenham Girls High School
Greening the STEM

The school's curriculum involves a Project Based Learning unit in Stage 5 (Year 9) and the intention of the project is to introduce a STEM module focusing on the existing 'native garden' area in the school's grounds. The process will involve:

  1. auditing the weeds (Nephrolepis cordifolia - fishbone fern, Ipomoea - morning glory and Tradescantia pallida - Wandering Jew which are growing in the area and how they can be controlled or eradicated;
  2. auditing the existing pond organisms and how they differ from 'healthy' ponds. Determine methods of introducing pond animals and insects which would keep the water in a healthy state;
  3. determining the types of native grasses, plants and shrubs which can be introduced into the area to encourage bird life;
  4. auditing the water run-off from heavy rain and the types of debris and sediment dumped into the pond and how this can be mitigated by the introduction of storm water channelling and low retaining walls; and
  5. determine the overall improvement in the native garden environment by the introduction and completion of these works.

Cook School
Reconnecting with disengaged youth through environmental learning opportunities

Cook School is a relatively new site with barren and unappealing grounds, and ongoing soil erosion issues. A fenced-off section is being established as an outdoor learning area with a sensory/nature focus.  Students will access this area when requiring time to self-sooth and for wellbeing activities, plus classes will utilise it extensively for literacy, numeracy, PDHPE and science. Development here will halt significant existing soil erosion.  Re-engagement of students in a non-threatening manner, promoting success in learning without the pressure of mainstream classrooms, is a primary school goal catered for by a connection with environment and stewardship of country.

Corindi Public School
Our Gumbaynggirr Garden

This project will enable us to create an Indigenous bush tucker garden utilising flora species native to the Gumbaynggirr region. As the school has a high percentage (28 per cent) of Indigenous students, and a strong relationship with the local Aboriginal community, this project will enable the community to work together to produce a usable outdoor learning area for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Our plan is for each class to create a story pole during NAIDOC Week with the knowledge and assistance of local Gumbaynggirr elders that will be placed throughout the new Indigenous garden space. We are hoping this space will be a cultural place to provide a sense of belonging within our school community. The garden will also provide a link to our local Gumbaynggirr language and bush tucker lessons.

Corpus Christi Catholic High School
Corpus Christi kitchen garden

Corpus Christi is seeking to establish a kitchen garden and worm farm adjacent to our hospitality classrooms. The Stage 6 Life Skills class will have stewardship of this project and be involved in the research, planning, construction and maintenance of the garden.  The kitchen garden is needed to provide a hands-on project to link with Science, Mathematics, Design and Technology, and Food Technology courses. The garden will provide positive physical activity and practical skills for our students. The project will also be an opportunity for students to work together, interact socially and complete a project as a team. We are hoping to create a place that has educational and practical value to the whole student population while being an aesthetic addition to our school.  The project will make a difference to the environment by developing an appreciation of nature and food production. It will also provide education about waste minimisation, food transport impacts and environmental sustainability. Our school canteen and hospitality classes will use food produced from the garden.

Project summaries: schools D - H

Dapto High School
Local Indigenous bush foods and medicine garden

This project will re-establish an existing bush tucker/medicine garden within the school and provide the local community of schools with an educational resource which can be accessed by all.  The mission is to engage students in gaining a deep understanding of indigenous perspectives including connection to country, land management and traditional uses for local native flora. The Local Indigenous bush tucker and medicine garden will enhance the school environment providing students with opportunities to engage in and develop skills in team work, work readiness, in-school work experience, and food preparation/nutrition to promote sustainability.

Dungay Public School
Bee alive, save the hive

Charles Darwin once said ‘The life of man would be made extremely difficult if the bee disappeared’.  Bees pollinate 70 per cent of the worlds’ horticulture and agriculture crops. Therefore without them the population would starve within five years.  Our aim is to create a working native sting-less bee hive surrounded by bee friendly native vegetation. Our climate is perfect for native bees and their optimal temperature range is between 18 and 35 degrees. Due to land clearing and pesticide spraying native bees are quite scarce in some areas. Dungay School students will work in partnership with Tweed Shire Council, Dorroughby Environmental Educational Centre, Chillingham Bush Tucker and Tim Heard from Sugarbag Bees to learn about native bee populations and their significance and threats. Students will participate in direct actions to help native bee populations including planting suitable habitat trees and increasing community awareness about the importance of bees. We will also investigate how Indigenous people have used honey for food and medicine. We are hopeful that the bees will be happy in the environment that we have created and in time produce honey. Having a hive at our school will increase flora pollination and contribute to the wellbeing of our local biodiversity.

Dungog Primary School
School organic permaculture garden

The establishment of an organic-biodynamic-permaculture-community garden on school grounds to be utilised as an educational/demonstration tool for teachers across curriculum areas, parents, local schools and community as well as a produce garden for school canteen/teachers and pupils. Composting, seed saving, recycling and water management will be integral to this project. This project is designed to: increase the capacity of the school and staff to deliver quality environmental and sustainability education; develop the school as a model for sustainability for local community; develop an outdoor learning space that demonstrates best practice in biodiversity- sustainable agriculture and water management. This project will improve soil carbon levels, reduce erosion, reduce fertiliser runoff into local water tables and rivers, encourage biodiversity, water saving, improving local plant genetic diversity, recycling of school waste into compost activities reducing landfill, production of local food reduces transportation of vegetables into Dungog (reducing food miles), reduce school carbon footprint, help school in becoming carbon neutral, thereby reducing pollution and reduced petrol consumption contributing to greenhouse gases.

Earlwood Public School
The recycle collective

The purpose of this project is to establish a successful waste management process through the education of the whole school community. We plan to promote the development of knowledge, values and positive behaviour in staff, students and their families (especially in relation to packaging, use of plastic and paper) that supports environmental sustainability.  The establishment of The Recycle Collective will enable the development of best practice in managing waste through the 3R's: Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle.   We believe the introduction of a comprehensive recycling system will result in litter reduction across the whole school community and promote long term environmental awareness.

Five Islands Secondary College
Worm farm seats for team green sustainability crew @ FISC

We are striving to engage students in a green waste sustainability initiative. Our student cafe, hospitality classes, horticulture and Permaculture Engagement Groups will participate which aims to take 100 per cent of our green waste (staff rooms, hospitality, and café) directly to worm farms. These will be integrated into the management and productivity of our four seasons’ vegetable garden (part of our new permaculture partners’ garden initiative within Port Kembla Community of local schools). The worm farms will be positioned as bench seats with a secret green purpose, in our Living Classroom, an outdoor learning space initiative, currently under construction.

Girraween Public School
Girraween - a place of flowers

Girraween Public School is a rapidly expanding and diverse school that has a large number of demountable classrooms. The school has very little that connects to the natural environment.  Our vision is to connect the classroom to Indigenous and endemic species that once thrived in the area.   Girraween means ‘a place of flowers’.  Through the creation of an outdoor learning garden the school community will be able to connect to the Aboriginal roots of the area.  The project will be created in an underutilised area, centre of the school, where ongoing sustainable projects will take place. The project allows for connection to all of the Key Learning Areas across the stages.

Glossodia Public School
Catchment awareness in Glossodia

The project will increase the awareness of catchment and stormwater management. The school grounds have a dam which is a catchment for stormwater from the adjacent road, an ideal teaching environment to raise student awareness of what is a catchment. Water testing and water bug surveys will give a picture of what goes down our drains and how the health of our waterways is affected by everyone’s actions. The project will entail use of the Museum in a box, Catchments, water for living to introduce the concept of catchment management. The take home message is about how we all affect our waterways.

Great Lakes College - Forster Campus
Outdoor learning area    

Our support faculty is required to create significant and relevant kinaesthetic links to course content in a diverse range of Key Learning Areas. It is envisaged that this project will provide a change of environment and stimulation to our special needs and Aboriginal students. This will be achieved through student participation in the design and construction of an outdoor learning area featuring seating, walkways, sculptures, vegetable/permaculture garden, native plants and bush tucker.  Establishing this outdoor learning area will also beautify and attract our local flora/fauna and will provide individual places for quiet reading or to just have some time out. Places and seating for the whole class will allow practical lessons outside and include an appreciation and understanding for our environment.

Gordon East Public School
Gordon East Public School sustainable garden project - Gordon green thumbs

The aim of this project is to create a series of raised garden beds to explore rotational cropping (seasonal). Students, teachers and the community will be involved in revitalising the school garden and sustainability program. We will create a series (six to seven) of raised garden beds. These garden beds will be placed in the existing school garden area. The safe removal and levelling of the garden area is required. We aim to purchase new galvanized garden beds from Bunnings or other. The beds will complement our existing worm farm and composting site.  The whole school community, students, staff and the environment will benefit in a number of different ways. The staff, students and community will be involved in a peer mentor and care program. The students will learn about sustainability and how food goes from paddock to table.  The local Eco-system will improve; including the ongoing monitoring of local environment, added use of the fertiliser produced by the worm farm and the compost heap. The school canteen plans to use the produce we grow and the students will have a 'safe' place to go.

Greenwich Public School
Bringing back the birds and the bees

Our school bushland is part of Greenwich’s old growth turpentine forest, one of the few remaining remnant flora and fauna corridors. A rapid increase in ibises, currawongs and mynas in the past two years is pushing out our native birds. Our project will assist students to make a difference by creating an understorey habitat for local fauna with a focus on providing shelter, safety, food and water for small native birds, native bees, lizards, frogs, and a permanent foraging area for an echidna.  It will remediate a section of degraded land with specially selected plants, turn pipe outlets into a bog-area for frogs and bring native bees back into our local area. ‘Bringing back the birds and the bees’ will enhance the school's ability to provide outdoor learning experiences emphasising conservation, biodiversity and encouraging action to bring about change.

Gymea Bay Public School
iTunesU course: investigating local history and future pressures of natural and built environments

To develop a comprehensive, localised online learning tool (on the iTunesU platform) for students and teachers to use in relation to knowledge and capacity building with the key enduring understandings of ‘Historical Changes of the Natural and Built Environments of the Sutherland Shire including Indigenous use of land and country’. Students and teachers will develop understandings of:

  • critical thinking skills
  • environmental concerns and attitudes, especially about local Sutherland environments
  • environmental identity/connectedness to the local area
  • possible issue-investigation and environmental-action skills in Sutherland Shire
  • conservation actions/behaviours
  • concerns and feelings of responsibility for the welfare of others in their community
  • self-efficacy and feelings of competence.

Heathcote High School
Outdoor learning area

To construct an outdoor learning area focused around teaching our students about the importance of sustainability and waste management. The area will consist of various raised garden beds, greenhouse for cultivation, composting area, rainwater tank and seating area. Currently our school has limited environmental education projects that students can be a part of and, as a result, we have seen an increasing problem with rubbish in the playground and a lack of care for the environment. I believe these projects that are run by our students will give them ownership of their school and instil in each student a greater understanding and sense of care for the environment.

Hill End Public School
Hill End Public School community seed saving network

Our project is to set up a seed saving bank and greenhouse at our school for the collection and propagation of seeds from our school and local community. This would be another positive project to engage our community's involvement in our school. We would have a central place for the storage of seeds and their viability could be tested by students in the greenhouse. This project will improve our environment by providing seeds that will germinate successfully in our climate and also save some species that are currently under threat from feral goats, pigs and deer.

Hunters Hill Public School
Gardening for sustainability

This project aims to transform the existing edible garden into a dynamic and engaging learning space that will encourage students, teachers and the wider community to become actively involved in promoting the environmental sustainability of our local area. Firstly, we will involve our teachers in professional development to develop their interest and ability to embed sustainability and the school garden throughout all strands of the curriculum. Our school currently has an issue with excess waste going to landfill. We aim to engage our students in hands-on learning experiences that help them discover the waste cycle and adopt the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle motto.

Project summaries: schools I - N

Illawarra Sports High School
Illawarra Sports High School - plastic waste warriors

Our Project is needed to reduce our school's plastic footprint. Our School Environment Club (Illawarra Sports HS Plastic Waste Warriors) recently conducted a waste audit and identified an urgent need to reduce the high number of plastic waste bottles being purchased by students, staff and local sporting community members. These plastic water bottles are not being recycled. Environmental Club members concluded that the environmental impact of this plastic waste is huge. Our school Waste Warriors will encourage our school community to refill their own reusable water bottles with tap water, and audits will be carried out to measure student participation in the project, and the reduction in waste plastic. This will make a positive difference for our environment as each bottle refilled represents less disposable plastic bottles purchased and ending up in landfill, waterways and oceans where it is killing marine life.

Kangaroo Valley Public School
FIG sustainable community garden for the children of Kangaroo Valley Public School

The school has embarked upon a unique program, which is collaboration with the FiG Community Garden, productive school gardens, and our school kitchen. It is here that the children will have outdoors hands on education, benefiting from environmental analysis of soil, water and seasons. They will enjoy physical exertion, instant job satisfaction and an understanding of plant growth within their unique valley ecosystem. They will learn to work as a team, about moral obligation to the land and to accept help from volunteers. After harvesting they will cook using the produce grown and share the healthy and delicious meals.

Karonga School
Food forest

Karonga School is situated on eight acres of land at West Epping. We would like to develop a Food Forest within our school grounds.   This Food Forest would consist of an under-storey canopy of smaller trees (the area already has large trees for the upper-storey) including native bush tucker/trees which are indigenous to the Dharug community.  Since many of the students at Karonga have Physical Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders, a Food Forest would provide a wonderful teaching tool.  Many students with Autism require specific sensory programs and the Food Forest would allow staff opportunities to meet the sensory needs of these students outside the classroom while developing their understanding of the world of plants.  Within the Food Forest there would be granite path to allow students in wheelchairs and walking frames the opportunity to explore the forest.  Signage would provide staff with teaching tools and ideas for both sensory and gardening programs.  As well as the massive benefits for our students, this Food Forest would attract beneficial insects and birds to the area.  The area will incorporate Indigenous bush tucker as well as other native plants and Aboriginal art could eventually be included within the area.

Kempsey High School
Kempsey Agricultural Students Association waste reduction project     

It is unacceptable for a school educating future citizens to move all of its 117,500 litres of waste to landfill. This project will make a difference for the environment by annually diverting 42,620 litres of waste from landfill, recycling 28,800 litres of paper and eventually converting this recycled paper and 4000 litres of food and garden waste into compost, worm juice and worm castings. We want to enable the students in the Kempsey Agricultural Students Association to lead this project and change the school's throw-away culture through ongoing student engagement with this issue across the curriculum.

Leura Public School
Live well at Leura kitchen garden project

A kitchen garden cared for by students with support from school and community, spacious enough to allow a whole class to work together. A wasted, weedy area becomes an environmental learning resource promoting healthy living and delivering healthy produce for ‘Crunch and Sip’ and the canteen.   As has been requested, staff receive crucial support to educate for healthy, sustainable living though curricular garden activities. Students develop a sense of stewardship for the environment through their care of the garden. Organic gardening skills for sustainable living are shared and promoted and sustainable resource management improves as organic waste becomes garden nutrient.

Lomandra School
Sustainable living through food technology garden

Lomandra's whole school food technology program utilises a purpose build student kitchen addressing outcomes in Literacy, Numeracy and PD/H/PE. To expand the success of this program, incorporating sustainable living practices, a kitchen garden and compost system will enable students to understand the cyclic process of growing and harvesting produce to use in the student kitchen.  Students have previously engaged in programs such as propagation, establishing kitchen gardens and composting at Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. Outcomes were achieved in environmental education, team work, peer mentoring and leadership. Success of this has highlighted a need to implement similar learning opportunities on-site for all students.

Macquarie Fields Public School
Macquarie Fields Public School Indigenous garden

Macquarie Fields Public School's project aims at creating an interactive and productive Indigenous garden. The focus of this garden is to connect Indigenous students with the land by allowing them to research, design and build a garden that represents their culture and supports the local ecosystem.  With assistance from local elders, students will create murals and totems to represent their culture. These murals and totems will be placed in and around the Indigenous garden.  This Indigenous garden will be a valuable learning space for our Indigenous students, as they will gain a deeper understanding of their heritage and culture whilst creating habitats for native wildlife.

Main Arm Upper Public School
Feather glider habitat monitoring and conservation 

We will build on the success of past grants, where we replaced non-native vegetation with a bush tucker garden, an outdoor learning space and raised native bees. We will expand environmental awareness among our students by removing large camphor trees and replacing them with native plants that encourage the flourishing of feather gliders and other native animals with the help of the Climate Watch Trail team. Six nesting boxes with two motion-detecting cameras will be installed. Students will monitor animal behaviour and blog their observations. The goal is to educate and raise awareness in the school and local community around these amazing native animals.

Marrickville West Primary School
Produce garden and composting at Marrickville West

Our school would like to start a program for all students as part of a future plan to implement a whole school kitchen-garden program.   In our incredibly diverse school (over 40 cultures represented) we have found food to be a great means of bringing cultures together and celebrating their similarities and differences concurrently.  We feel education in environmental sustainability through growing food is an engaging and hands-on way to instil messages of ecological awareness.   In this first stage we'd like to install some garden beds, source class sets of gardening equipment and teach children about sustainable waste management through composting.

Mascot Public School
Our sensory oasis

Students will be designing and creating their own sensory oasis with 15 new distinct garden beds where classes will be focusing on one or more of the senses.  In this garden, students will be able to explore, touch, smell, taste and enjoy an array of plants and animals.  As 90 per cent of our students are from non-English speaking background, having a sensory garden will engage students’ vocabulary which will be specifically used to assist and extend writing experiences.

Merrylands Public School
Inclusive garden project 

The environmental education project is needed to support an already existing small scale garden to become a sustainable school project into the future. It will do this by providing funds to purchase additional resources essential for the ongoing maintenance of the garden. Additionally, it will allow teachers time to seek advice and expertise from Fowler Road Public School and the Georges River Environmental Education Centre with regards to efficient management of a school garden.   It is important that the garden become a self-sustaining project where students can develop an understanding of how they can work with the environment to obtain what they need. The project also aims to provide students with disabilities powerful ways of learning new skills in the context of a project that contributes to the school community, therefore increasing their sense of well-being and achievement in the context of a mainstream school. Strong connections will be made to the curriculum through programming. The garden project also seeks to engage the families of children in the Support Unit and the wider culturally diverse parent community by providing them with opportunities to contribute their skills and knowledge in gardening. The garden is just one aspect of the school’s current focus on student welfare, improved engagement of the wider school community and the development of more appealing outside learning spaces.

Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College
Urban native garden

An artificial pond was created on school grounds in 2008 for use by Science, Arts and Religion. The pond area is now a thriving native bush ecosystem. With the success of this small area of our school we would like to replace existing gardens with plants native to North Sydney with a variety of aims. We want to attract more local fauna through provision of shelter through their native habitats. Native plants also need less watering and maintenance thus being more sustainable.  To undertake this project, students will research and plant sustainable native plants to North Sydney and research the fauna they hope to attract.  They will share success with the community and encourage them to convert their gardens, or part thereof, to more sustainable usage.

Mount Riverview Public School
Installing WaterSave smart meter and irrigation system

Our school is preparing to educate students and the community on the importance of water conservation by installing a WaterSave smart meter and a water efficient irrigation system. The installation of the smart meter will provide the school with up-to-date water usage data electronically. This system can produce savings of water and money for our school while providing accurate information for teachers and students to use in daily teaching and learning activities. The water usage data is accessible by internet and can show any concealed leaks. The data provided can be a valuable teaching resource for teachers. All information can be accessed by students. The information is realistic and could encourage the school community in conserving potable water.  According to quarterly water bills, students’ water consumption at the school is above the recommended level (three to nine litres per student per day). By installing the meter we will have access to information which could help us in implementing water conservation strategies which will lead to reducing water usage.

Mudgee High School
Aquaponics at Mudgee High School

The school has incorporated aquaponics into the junior Design and Technology classes to provide hands-on experiences around the issue of sustainability. Aquaponics is gaining significant attention around the globe and is being touted by some as the future of agriculture. It uses 90 per cent less water than traditional gardening and upwards of 100 times less water than irrigated cropping. It is naturally holistic and organic.  This project teaches how to grow more food with much less water. Our system is situated in an area of high visibility so that we can inspire and contribute to local community interest. Being adjacent to our Support Unit, it also provides ease of access for our IM/IS, MC and ED students, including those in wheelchairs.  We are now seeking funding to incorporate solar power into this system to further increase its sustainability and longevity at the school. Funding is also sought to make the area more user friendly for all involved. 

Murwillumbah High School
Sustainable food production and conservation of resources    

Students in the Support Unit want to grow their own vegetable, fruit and herbs to use in their cooking programs.  Students would be able sell the excess food to the TAS department and canteen.  A worm farm and compost would operate to keep the school environment clean and tidy. A small rainwater tank and mulch on the gardens and a solar panel would reduce the need for using the schools water supply. Native bees would enable the spread of pollen and assist in germination of plants. Companion planting would reduce the need for pesticides in our gardens.  The planting of seasonal vegetables and herbs would allow students to have fresh food and not rely on shop bought vegetables for cooking. Students would cook with seasonal vegetable.

Muswellbrook High School
Focus centre food garden

Students are involved in propagating and growing plants from seed to provide produce to the local Community Kitchen. Vegetables, herbs and fruits in season will be grown and students will harvest and prepare foods to be cooked and served to needy members of the community. They will learn about sustainable practice, moon planting, composting, and the uses of plants. They will actively rehabilitate unused areas of the school grounds to beautify and give purpose to them. They will support their peers in activities related to the garden by refurbishing a dilapidated outdoor amphitheatre as part of the kitchen garden outdoor learning area which can be utilised by the whole school as an outdoor learning environment. 

Nana Glen Public School
Learning through growing

Nana Glen Public School aims to increase sustainability and environmental education through creating outdoor learning spaces that will support high quality learning and teaching practices. Through the creation of herb/sensory gardens, establishing bird attracting gardens and the purchase and installation of a new hothouse we will provide the students with the opportunity to further develop an understanding of the importance of life cycles, symbiotic relationships and sustainability. As part of the new reforms for School Excellence and 21st Century Learners, we promote independence and student ownership of their learning and resources. Having functional outdoor spaces that students can access is essential for heightened understanding and awareness of their surrounding environment. For students to have the opportunity and experience at growing new plants (for our herb/sensory and bird attracting gardens) from seeds and cuttings provided and/or purchased by the community and school creates students with a higher sense of responsibility and achievement, this in turn promotes improved self-worth of students. Environmental sustainability is integrally linked to all Key Learning Areas and providing our students with outdoor learning spaces enables the teachers to embed these practices into students learning, creating a future generation who are aware and empowered to cause positive change to our world.

Narranga Public School
Narranga Public School living classroom project

The living classroom project is designed to integrate, as well as explicitly teach, concepts relating to environmental sustainability through the implementation and management of a closed-loop food garden that includes worm farming and composting systems. This enables the school to reduce its vegetable and material waste and improves the input of fresh produce into the students' lives.  This is achieved through a variety of student-centred, school and community experiences to support growing, processing and retailing food that integrate into key learning areas as well as improving student personal growth outcomes.  The ideal is to increase student understanding of where their food is sourced and to spark in them an enthusiasm and zest for living in a more sustainable way at school and in the home, as well as producing a more responsible local and global citizen.  It also results in reduced financial output and allows school budget allocation to purchase materials for the school living classroom.

Nemingha Public School
Our garden is our favourite teacher

Our small organic food garden encompasses five beds, chooks, orchard beginnings and vermiculture setup.  Due to climatic conditions in Tamworth, we cannot grow the quantity of organic food required for our kitchen garden program, and subsequently source non-local, non-organic produce.  We see great benefit to the environment, and to the teaching and learning of sustainable living, in constructing a greenhouse to decrease food miles, chemical dependence, extend the growing season, improve garden economics and encourage reasoning and discovery in the practicalities of gardening.  We want our children to make connections between what they eat and how this impacts the environment.

Nimbin Central School
Nimbin Central School eco-management project

Nimbin Central School occupies an area of 26 acres which is covered by vegetation other than grass. Due to rich fertile soils, warm climate and high rainfall, all types of vegetation flourish on the school grounds and over the years, has resulted in some areas being overtaken by unwanted noxious weeds such as lantana, privet, crofton weed, grounsel and camphor laurel. The main priority is a chosen section covering 0.7 acres, which is also a wind break area, on the western side of the school's agricultural plot. The aim of the project is to remove all weed vegetation in the area, including large camphor laurels and stumps, and plant selected native vegetation that will serve as weed control as well as provide a natural habitat for native fauna, and provide opportunities for student learning about bush tucker.

Northern Beaches Secondary College
Sustainability - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle           

At Cromer Campus we have identified a growing need to establish a sustainability project at our school. The main focus of the project will be Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  The aim is to establish a recycling area where mixed waste in our regular bins is to be included in the school recycling program, for example, aluminium cans and PET bottles. Also, green waste from the Food Technology faculty will be recycled through the establishment of worm farms. The compost will be used in various gardens around the school.   Colourful recycling bins/containers will be placed strategically around the school to give our students ample opportunities and education in best recycling practice and its importance.  The cans and PET bottles collected will be taken to resource collection centres. Students will be involved in the sorting process.   This program will be linked to various curriculum outcomes in Mathematics, Science, History and Geography.

Northlakes High School
Support unit garden        

The existing vegetable garden within the Support Unit at Northlakes High School requires regeneration and the provision of a water tank to deal with storm water run-off and allow the garden to be self-sufficient.  The Unit has an established vegetable garden which has allowed students with physical and mental disabilities to experience an alternative learning environment over the past 10 years. The garden allows the students to get hands on experience working within the environment.  The support unit is within a low socio economic area at San Remo on the Central Coast of NSW. The garden engages students who are disengaged in the learning process, giving a cross-curriculum educational approach which incorporates maths, food technology, science, and PDHPE areas.  The garden gives ownership and work experience opportunities to those students who would normally not be given this opportunity.  Skills also include budgeting, cooking, money, time and measurement and importantly focus on enhancing social skills, team work and the ability to plan for future activities.

Project summaries: schools O - Z

Ourimbah Public School
Connecting with our rainforest

The school is situated on the central coast of NSW and was once a significant logging area for the region. Over 25 years ago the school community identified a remnant rainforest environment on the school grounds and set about rehabilitating this area, it has flourished and is now a rehabilitated lowland rainforest. The school has also developed a rainforest walking trail, which passes by an Aboriginal grinding site and which is accessible to teachers and students but is currently underutilised. The school has an influx of new teaching staff who have had limited experience in how to utilise this area in their teaching. We propose to create educational signage throughout the trail to help teachers integrate nature based learning into their curriculum and maximise student benefits from outdoor and environmental education. We also propose to work collaboratively with a wide variety of environmental and community organisations to provide professional development opportunities for all staff.  Finally we which to connect ‘our’ rainforest to the wider community by hosting engaging environmental programs for the student environment group, parents and community such as nature walks and talks.

Penrith Valley Learning Centre
Living classroom

Students will participate in the design and construction of a Living classroom, an outdoor learning space where they will investigate the benefits of environmentally sustainable practices and the need for biodiversity. Students will implement skills and knowledge gained to design and construct the living classroom which will provide a safe and engaging space for students, staff and school community to participate in hands-on education and cultural exchange. The project will regenerate existing tracts of bush and vegetation within school grounds, creating a space where interactive teaching and learning can occur.   Students will achieve positive educational outcomes aligned with both the NSW and Australian curriculum whilst building positive and meaningful relationships with other students, staff, community and business.  The program will provide an opportunity for increased community and student engagement through cultural understanding and reconnection.

Pittwater High School
Pittwater High School marshland management: riparian restoration, litter and flood prevention

Pittwater High school is surrounded by a mangrove ecosystem and at high tide, part of the school floods with salt water.  Student representatives have volunteered as part of an environmental awareness campaign called Project Green Sea Turtle. These students have done litter surveys of the surrounding area and have identified four areas of the school that are large point sources for litter pollution entering our local waterways. The project has three goals:

  1. to mitigate and prevent flooding of grass areas during king tides;
  2. to restore marshland and provide habitat in the water course using the reestablishment of riparian vegetation, saltmarsh and mangrove plants; and
  3. to prevent litter from escaping the school grounds, entering the adjacent mangroves and flowing out into the ocean on the outgoing tide.

There is a great need to prevent flooding of the school grounds where saltwater kills playing fields and to reduce litter from entering the surrounding waterways of Broken Bay. Students from the schools Marine and Aquaculture Technology program will conduct regular tide and litter surveys to measure the success of the program.

Rainbow Ridge School for Steiner Education
Rainbow Ridge wildlife friendly food garden

Food garden beds have been established at the school but several problems have arisen, the main one being the local wildlife which also appreciate the produce and enriched soils of the garden. Students have also encountered difficulties with lack of shade in the summer, water scarcity, weed control and organic waste management.  By incorporating raised garden beds which can be netted and shaded, a compost tumbler, water wise gardening methods and a small chicken tractor into the existing beds, it is hoped that the problems of gardening alongside wildlife can be solved and food security maintained. It is intended to incorporate a native bee hive into the garden area to help with pollination. These changes and additions will allow students to experience an integrated garden system that co-exists with local wildlife while at the same time learning about waste disposal and water management.

St Ives Park Primary School
St Ives Park Public School eco-garden

Our eco-garden aims to increase student, family and wider school community engagement, whilst providing hands-on and interactive learning opportunities that meet a variety of curriculum outcomes. Our hope is to take our environmental education to the next level, creating an outdoor learning experience that is a welcoming and purposeful which will serve as a wonderful wider school community resource.  We seek to establish an eco-garden that facilitates ongoing learning and active engagement of students, parents, teachers and community.  We aim to:

  • educate teachers and engage our students on the impact of food production on the environment and benefits of sustainable agriculture
  • increase our school community's appreciation of diverse and healthy foods
  • facilitate knowledge and confidence in growing, preparing, cooking and eating food
  • improve the social and learning environment within our school community
  • engage the wider school community in activities such as teaching, volunteering, learning about sustainable practices through our eco-garden, and prompting environmental responsibility.

St Mary's Primary School Young
How does my garden grow?

Understanding the food process from patch to plate , creating a sustainable food garden at the school will provide students with a fun and interactive activity and help them enjoy the many benefits of gardening. They can get involved in creation and planting, and take on responsibility for the garden's ongoing care and maintenance. Gardening experiences also reinforce classroom teaching and provide opportunities to integrate curriculum across a range of subject areas including Science, Numeracy, Health and Physical Education. Students will gain pride and ownership in the garden as well as learn how they can reduce 'green' waste being sent to landfill by turning it into compost.

St Mary's Primary School Grafton
Dig for plenty garden

St Mary's Primary school aims to convert its traditional playground into a Learnscape. The first stage of this project is the development of our edible food gardens, including vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and bush tucker from the Clarence Valley. These gardens will provide practical learning opportunities for students across all areas of the curriculum, and cater for various learning and teaching styles. In particular, they will teach students about sustainable gardening practices, and provide healthy fresh produce for use in class cooking activities, in the school canteen, and in the students' pop up market stall called Dig for Plenty.  Assisting students to develop their knowledge of sustainability will flow over into their everyday lives and help develop a sense of stewardship of the earth, which will grow as they do.

St Paul the Apostle Primary School
Design it! Then make it! 

The school is committed to hands on experiential learning for our students.  To this end the school would like to involve the students by inviting them to design and make the garden.  In this way the students will need to apply many curriculum learnings whilst designing and planning for what they envisage the garden will look like.  The children would participate in the activity in both the classroom and the school yard.  The teachers would encourage the students to talk about any obstacles that they may encounter and work with them to problem solve.  The school hopes to incorporate many aspects of the students work to construct the final garden design.  By the students participating in this activity the school plans for more involvement and to bring the school community together to make the project a reality.

Surveyors Creek Public School
Surveyors’ sensory garden

We aim to construct a native sensory garden that all children of Surveyors Creek can utilise and gain benefit from. The Stage 3 children, who will design the garden, will gain knowledge of native sensory plants and landscape design that will appeal to the senses. They will then educate others through interpretive signage and multimedia. The design of multimedia education will then become part of the ongoing Stage 3 curriculum.  Our Integrated School contains a Special Need Unit catering to children with mild to moderate disability. This garden will provide a place where their sensory needs can be met. We also have a number of special needs children in mainstream classes who would benefit from using the garden for a sensory break during class time or play time.  All children in the school will have an opportunity to contribute such as planting, maintaining or creating a sensory experience. The garden will be available for all teachers to use as an outdoor classroom for sensory enrichment, flora and fauna biodiversity education, ecosystem education and appreciation of the environment.

The Pocket Public School
Schoolyard habitat project

The Pocket School Schoolyard Habitat Project is intended to give students the opportunity to research, design and implement a plan to enhance their school ground by encouraging a chosen native animal or insect to live there and share this with our community. This year the students have chosen to research Australian native bees. The addition of an outdoor learning area that centres on a stingless native bee hive, and includes various native bee attracting flora, will enhance the school environment while introducing a natural pollination vehicle for their vegetable garden. The project also includes seating and paving sourced from salvaged materials which sets an example for sustainable practices.

Thornton Public School
Thornton Public School Triassic learning track

Our school has identified a two hectare area of remnant endangered Lower Hunter spotted gum iron bark forest within the school grounds which is choked with weeds and rubbish. We need to clear weeds and establish a track into this area of the forest to include observation teaching points, with seating, for students to use and to conserve the area. We will clean and regenerate it to protect the native vegetation, providing a safe, interactive learning environment for students K-6 to access.  We will establish an environmental education program involving collection of data and observation of native flora and fauna.

Warrah Special School
Warrah School farming initiative

By educating our students in the environmental, social and health benefits of organic farming practices we aim to inspire students and their families to make positive, ethical and informed choices that will be of benefit to the environment. The education will include low to zero food miles, local food production, increased health and wellbeing through nutritiously dense chemical free food, increased awareness of the positive environmental impacts of small scale organic farming methods and active personal involvement in sustainable food production.

Warrimoo Public School
Warrimoo Public School sustainable vegetable garden

The purpose of the sustainable vegetable garden is to involve students in all stages of a food garden. This will include garden development incorporating sustainability, composting of organic matter, planning, vegetable decision, planting, observing growth, and then keeping up with watering/weeding. The students will then harvest and eat the vegetables.  The project is needed to enhance the environmental principles and practices of the teachers and students at the school. Educating students in sustainable composting, growing and using vegetables with the improvement of the school environment and the health of the students. This knowledge of sustainable behaviour will continue into their present and future lives.

Werrington County Public School
Friendship garden

The design is to build a self-sufficient garden. It will utilise an area of the school which is unused. The current vegetable garden within the school is extremely small and we wish to extend with the growing enrolments of the school. The garden will produce fruit and vegetables that will be used to support the Crunch and Sip program, we will also be able to address issues such as recycling and the cross curricula subject areas like Sustainability. We hope to include our products into our healthy living programs and to enhance the students understanding and compassion for the local environment.

Wewak Street School
Raised garden beds and improvement of existing garden beds

The school currently has two small raised beds that provide some students with the opportunity to work in the garden. To cater for all students, another two beds need to be made. To allow all students access to gardening activities, raised beds are the most suitable for students with physical challenges.  This project will make a difference for the environment because students will learn about sustainability at school and further educate their parents and carers about environmental issues. Students will be able to grow vegetables to use in cooking sessions. They will also be engaged in cross- curriculum learning experiences that have real meaning. Students will be provided opportunities to develop communication skills and develop positive values.

Wilkins Public School
Walanga 'naminina: urban kids caring for land

This year we will remove substantial noxious weeds (madeira vine and phoenix palms) from Walanga ‘naminina (our Aboriginal walking trail and yarning circle) and nearby western ridge mound. With access to the site, we need this project to integrate bush restoration into our outdoor education programs for the first time. Teachers and students will learn about land care. The environmental benefits are ongoing restoration and weed management on a rare piece of native bushland in our highly urbanized area. Our vision is to share this outdoor learning site to foster social and educational networks for middle school students across Marrickville.

Wisemans Ferry Public School
Hands-on learning garden for happy and healthy children and communities

We want our students to be learning for sustainability. We aim to empower and educate our students with the ability to learn from the land. We aim to achieve the level of competence and citizenship in all students that will enable them to contribute to the achievement of sustainable societies. To do this, we will landscape a large 100 metre by 50 metre, overgrown area of land on the school grounds that is overrun with weeds and transform into a hands-on learning garden, while learning about the land. Our students will also have a section of the garden as a bush tucker garden, making strong ties with our Aboriginal community. This will be maintained with community support.

Wongarbon Public School
Chook yard and raised beds for vegetable and herb gardens

At Wongarbon School we want our children to live a happy and healthy life in a sustainable environment. We want to show the children that food doesn't have to come from a packet. They will understand how chooks play an important role in food production and healthy gardens. The students will learn the concept of self-sufficiency. The children will work collaboratively with their peers, staff and the local community to create an outdoor learning space. It will be used to teach the children about eating healthy food, how they can manage their environment sustainably and responsible stewardship.

Yass High School
Integrated learning

We have an area of land at the front of the school which has been used for three years to house five demountables due to a fire in 2012. The area, previously known as ‘the park’ was once quite inviting with leafy trees etc., now has dead land in need of restoration due to the demountables and damage caused by the rebuilding project.  The demountables are to be removed soon and the damage will be even more visible to our students and local community. We would like to restore the land and create a clean, sustainable outdoor learning area.

Yenda Public School
Yenda's kitchen garden

Our environmental education project involves building and maintaining a kitchen garden. Despite the fact many of our children live on farms, they are often still unaware of where our food comes from or how it is grown. Having a kitchen garden will allow students to see how a variety of fruits and vegetables are grown, and to experience cooking and eating previously unknown foods. Involving students in growing their own healthy food encourages them to eat healthier meals, and be more engaged in preparing them. Fruits and vegetables will be able to be used in the school canteen, among other things, allowing the school to become more self-sufficient. We would have a spice and herb section in the garden so that students could use and experience the garden with all their senses. The kitchen garden would also include native plants used by traditional land owners in consultation with Wiradjuri elders from the Local Land Council.

Young Public School
Superb Recycling: An outdoor learning area and sensory garden using recycled material

The playground is uninspiring and recently trees were cut down compounding the need for inspiring outdoor spaces. Working with the broader community to source, recycle and repurpose materials we will build an outdoor learning area and sensory garden. This will help to create a dialogue between students, their families and the broader community on the benefits and possibilities of recycling. Students will explore biodiversity through their senses, connect with nature and develop a sense of place and environmental stewardship. Students will be involved in the design of the space which will encourage a sense of ownership and commitment to the project.

Page last updated: 26 November 2015