Project summaries: 2016 Eco Schools

Following an assessment of 212 proposals, the Environmental Trust on the recommendation of the independent Technical Review Committee, approved funding for 80 projects. A total of $3,500 has been allocated to each successful project across NSW.

OrganisationProject title

Abbotsleigh

Six seasons of Sydney Aboriginal garden

Adelong Public School

Life lab - lets get dirt on our shirts!

Albury West Public School

Albury West Public School community garden

Aldavilla Primary School

War on waste

Ascham School

Promoting pollination & biodiversity in a school garden – A Year 8 STEAM project

Assumption School Bathurst

Outdoor classroom - plant, play, learn, live!

Bangor Public School

Native bush food sensory garden

Berkeley Public School

Living classroom: outdoor learning seating circle

Berrigan Public School

Live life well veggie gardens

Bingara Central School

Nourish - bush tucker garden

Bossley Park Public School

A high environmental score means we waste less and recycle more!

Bringelly Public School

Bringelly Public School:  bush tucker sensory garden

Brunswick Heads Public School

Nangayn Bara Ngalingah Jugan (food from our land)

Buxton Public School

Lyrebird bush tucker learn-scape

Caddies Creek Public School

Caddies waste crusaders

Camdenville Public School

Seed to seed: closing the loop

Campbelltown Public School

Bringing the community together with bush tucker

Cascade Environmental Education Centre

Biophilic Explore Centre

Casino High School

Nunghing Jagun bush tucker and cultural garden rejuvenation

Cattai Public School

Cattai cropper's club

Chapel School - Key College Merrylands

Wellbeing

Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus

Outdoor learning space

Cobar Public School

Indigenous garden for learning

Dalmeny Public School

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design

Outdoor learning area - kitchen

Duval High School

MC sensory and healthy habits garden

East Hills Boys High School

The life hub

Eastwood Heights Public School

SOUP kitchen garden project (sustainable organic urban produce)

Eden Public School

Interactive 3D eco-culture calendar project

Engadine West Public School

Native bird garden

Evans River K-12 Community School

Bandjalang nature trail and bush tucker garden

Forestville Montessori School

Our organic kitchen garden, from seed to plate

Giant Steps Sydney

Native bush foods garden

Greenacre Baptist Christian Community School

Greener Greenacre

GS Kidd Memorial School

Gardening makes sense

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School - Helensburgh

Sustainable food gardens - including bush tucker plants

Holy Cross Primary School - Kincumber

Kincumber walk

Hunter River High School

Sustainable footprints-creating impressions for tomorrow

Hurstville Public School

Construction of raised garden beds to enhance student wellbeing

Irrawang High School

Support Unit playground and garden

Jewells Primary School

Bush Tucker Sensory Garden and Yarning Circle

Jugiong Public School

Wiradjuri Yarning Place and Bush Tucker project

Kiama Public School

Propagating the future

Kurri Kurri Public School

Lettuce eat restaurant growers garden

Laguna Street Public School

Restoring the remnant-eco and Indigenous trail

Lake Munmorah Public School

Bush tucker garden

Lucas Heights Community School

Sustainability expansion - bush garden, teacher development for all

Mainsbridge School

Gandangara bush tucker garden

Maitland Grossmann High School P&C

Sensory and bush tucker garden for students with special needs

Maitland Tutorial Centre

MTC chill out patch

Middle Harbour Public School

Habitat enhancement learning project (HELP)

Mingoola Public School

Mingoola community garden

Mullumbimby Public School

Mullum kids produce

Murrurundi Public School

Bush tucker garden/gathering place

Nabiac Public School

Growing great gardeners

Narara Public School

School garden

Pittwater House

Stage 2 earth angels: waste warriors and bush tucker garden

Railway Town Public School

Sustainable sensory space

Roseville Public School

Sustainable living garden project

Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School

Mullumbimby Creek riparian rainforest regeneration - the western end

St Ambrose Primary School Pottsville

St Ambrose, Pottsville student stewardship program

St Anthony of Padua Primary School

Regrow St Anthony's

St Brigid's Catholic College Lake Munmorah

Fish and chook project

St Catherine's Catholic College Singleton

Sound and taste: sensory gardening K-12

St Clare's Catholic School Narellan Vale

Outdoor living classroom

St Michael's Catholic Primary Stanmore

Veggie explosion program

St Patrick's Parish School Cooma

Boosting our biodiversity - worms, birds and bees!

St Therese Catholic School West Wollongong

Going green at St Therese

St Therese's Community School

Bush tucker garden and yarning circle

Tumut High School

Tumut Grevillea and bush tucker project

Uki Public School

Bees, birds and butterflies: cross-pollinators

Ulong Public School

Gumbaynggirr garden

Wahroonga Public School

The bush patch and green waste project

Waratah Public School

Native epithet/fern sensory tranquillity garden

Wentworthville Public School

Sensory bush tucker garden

William Carey Christian School

Seed to lunches @ WCCS

Wollondilly Public School

Sensory garden

Woodport Public School

Let's get it sorted!

Woolgoolga Public School

K-6 school gardens and recycling

Yetman Public School

Creating a living classroom at Yetman

Schools A to C - project summaries

Abbotsleigh
Six seasons of Sydney Aboriginal garden

The Six Seasons garden will be a valuable resource for students and the surrounding community. The garden restores native habitat and provides a resource for learning. The construction of the garden will involve every student and teacher in the school as they learn together about the Aboriginal culture of the Sydney region and the important natural events that mark the seasons. Students will be challenged to use their new knowledge to create meaningful artworks and natural habitat. The garden will provide an ongoing learning resource for groups studying seasons, natural resources, native organisms and Aboriginal knowledge.

Adelong Public School
Life lab – let’s get dirt on our shirts!

Life lab is engaging students in a range of sustainability activities, and will include interactive ways of integrating this learning in the curriculum and changing lifestyles. Adelong Public School will do this by producing food plants in recycled containers, using compost, smart water practices, aquaculture tanks and implementing a clothing pool.  Being a small town students have little knowledge of sustainability beyond what happens at home or on television.  Students will learn that locally grown food is high in nutrients and has less environmental impact, and they will also learn the concept of food miles.

Albury West Public School
Albury West Public School community garden

Design and construction of a community Garden based at Albury West Public School. The project is planned to be developed in three phases: research and engagement; planning and construction; community expansion, with learning for students, staff and community woven throughout. The establishment of a unique space that provides diverse experience for learners and educators will build on and strengthen an environment focused community around a vegetable and herb garden; bush tucker garden and meeting place. The Garden project (to be named by student choice) is central to a cross curriculum plan for students K-6. Learning outcomes are to be achieved through arts based learning and teaching strategies based in a philosophy of community engagement. The intended focus of the project is to develop a culture around environmental sustainability in the school; one where a relationship with the environment is recognised and valued and the formation of partnerships ensure the garden is supported.

Aldavilla Primary School
War on waste

Aldavilla Eco Warriors War on Waste will review, reinforce and increase resources to assist in the ongoing implementation of the school's environmental ethos on waste minimisation.  The Environment Team, Eco Warriors, has recognised the need for increased student knowledge and awareness and a reduction in the use of packaging in the canteen. Through the introduction of classroom Recycling Teaching Resource Kits and the Nude Food concept, Aldavilla Primary School will make a difference and reduce its impacts on the environment.

Ascham School
Promoting pollination & biodiversity in a school garden – A Year 8 STEAM project

Students will learn about environmental sustainability by examining the problem of the declining native bee population in Sydney.  The project will apply the STEAM model to integrate student learning across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Students will learn about the importance of bees, and will investigate the problems arising from the decline of bees in Australia and around the world.  Equipped with this knowledge, students will establish a population of stingless native bees on the school grounds.  Sydney is at the southern extent of the bees’ native range, so students will research, design and create a structure to house native bees, ensuring that the internal hive temperature can be maintained at correct levels.  The design will use recycled products such as reusable off-cuts, product over-runs, cardboard tubes, and reusable plastic/laminate products.

Assumption School Bathurst
Outdoor classroom - plant, play, learn, live!

Assumption School Bathurst will create an outdoor classroom that will provide student environmental learning opportunities and resources.  The aim of this project is to inspire students to be stewards - to take action on environmental issues affecting their school, as well as the local community and beyond.  Together students, staff and the extended community will transform a stark terrace area into a vibrant outdoor classroom where students will experience living things, including plants and animals, and appreciate how they depend on each other and the environment to survive. Students will investigate how the growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment.  They will create a habitat path - enriching the biodiversity of the area to provide food, water and shelter for birds, butterflies, frogs and skinks.  Studetns will explore the significance of the environment in human life, and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment.

Bangor Public School
Native bush food sensory garden

The project will involve development of a sustainable sensory garden using native and edible plants indigenous to the area. Students will learn about sustainable practices and contribute to designing and caring for the garden. Artworks made from recycled items will be included in the garden. All students, inclusive of students with sensory processing disorder, autism and behavioural difficulties will benefit from the sensory garden. The garden will include native plants and edible bush food. This will allow students to learn through real experiences about traditional Aboriginal plants. Students will learn about biodiversity and will restore biodiversity to the environment.

Berkeley Public School
Living classroom: outdoor learning seating circle

This project is part of the planned Berkeley Public Living Classroom Permaculture Garden. The purpose of the living classroom project is to design and create a permaculture based school garden that is an interactive, outdoor living classroom. The outdoor classroom will be a place where students learn, share and experience a world of growing, preparing and sharing organic food which influences the making of positive, sustainable and healthy life choices. A learning circle will be created to provide an inclusive and safe place for sustainability and cross curriculum learning.  Students will participate in the design process to create their own school permaculture garden.  The entire school from years K-6 will participate in the design, construction and maintenance of the living classroom while the wider school community will become involved with the school through regular working bees.  The engine room of the Living Classroom space will be a compost hub. All food waste from the school will be composted by students and transferred into rich, fertile compost, creating a school culture that limits waste being sent to landfill.

Berrigan Public School
Live life well veggie gardens

Berrigan Public School students will plan for, plant out and nurture four vegetable and native herb gardens. The garden will incorporate compost bins, a worm farm, paper shredding and all of the water, natural fertilizers and mulch needed to maintain the vegetable and native herb gardens are on site.  Students will learn about the environment, sustainable ecosystems, food production and nutrition through a combination of classroom and garden activities.  Food gardens promote sustainable living and healthy eating and native herb gardens act as sensory gardens allowing students to explore the environment through sensory stimulation.

Bingara Central School
Nourish - bush tucker garden

The project aims to showcase the indigenous diet of our local area and create some examples of bush tucker from other parts of Australia. This will benefit the school as teachers will able to utilise the garden to help address the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures priorities from the Australian curriculum.  The project will also help to increase biodiversity within the local environment by increasing the number of native and endemic species of plants in gardens. The project also links with the reconciliation theme relating to the Myall Creek Memorial.

Bossley Park Public School
A high environmental score means we waste less and recycle more!

All years K-6 classes at Bossley Park Public School will learn about waste management practices that are sustainable. The school will take responsibility for waste products that are produced by students, staff and community by reducing and recycling litter.  To better manage waste, the school will implement a Crunch and Sip program, collecting fruit scraps for composting. New infrastructure is needed to support organics recycling, and a major beneficiary will be the school's vegetable and bush tucker gardens, with compost produced being used to nourish crops. Expanding the school composting system means that worm farming capacity also needs to increase.  Students will be educated about the school's carbon footprint, and the school will impement recycling systems for plastics, cardboard, metal, and glass.

Bringelly Public School
Bringelly Public School:  bush tucker sensory garden

Bringelly Public School will create an outdoor learning space and bush tucker garden in an overgrown area of the school that is currently not used. This woodland area is a section of the Cumberland Plain Woodland listed as a critically Endangered Ecological Community in Western Sydney. This area of the school has water run-off problems which will be addressed in the project design brief.  Students and community members will be invited to help design and transform the area to include a pathway through the woodland that will be created using new and recycled materials. Students will investigate which materials will best suit the path application.  The school aims to connect with local Aboriginal groups to further learn about the Gandangara people who lived in this Cumberland Plain area. The school will consult Aboriginal Elders to gain an understanding of Gandagara 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 twenty-first century focused and relevant to students.

Brunswick Heads Public School
Nangayn Bara Ngalingah Jugan (food from our land)

Brunswick Heads Public School will develop a garden at the front of the school into a bush tucker trail - Nanganyn Bara Ngalingah Jugun (Food from our Land) that is sustainable and becomes part of the school's teaching and learning programs.  The school currently has an Aboriginal language tutor, who teaches the Bundjalung language to all students. This project will  provide signage that allows for this learning of language to extend to the school garden and create a shaded outdoor learning area that provides opportunity for stories, culture and sustainability practices to be shared. A native beehive and new bush tucker plants will be established.  Students will learn to  dentify native Australian plants, and learn their common name and Bunjulung name.

Buxton Public School
Lyrebird bush tucker learn-scape

The Lyrebird bush tucker learn-scape will be an interactive cultural project that will provide outdoor learning about the environment for students of the school.  The space will incorporate a bush tucker garden and an Aboriginal yarning circle, depicting artworks and stories relevant to the Dharawal people in the region. The site will have multiple purposes, including aspects of student wellbeing, environmental, Aboriginal and curriculum based education. The garden will have a positive impact upon the school environment through propagation of native plants, and increased engagement and wellbeing of students through environmental sustainability and Aboriginal education programs. Students will use propagated plants to regenerate other areas in the community, increasing  habitat for local flora and fauna.  The project will also improve waste management practices at the school, and improve the quality of through the use of worm castings gained from recycled fruit and vegetable scraps sourced from the school.  Quality of the soil will be enhanced through the use of worm castings gained from recycled fruit and vegetable scraps sourced from the school. This will assist in the reduction of waste.

Caddies Creek Public School
Caddies waste crusaders

Caddies Creek Public School recognised a need to create an awareness of human impact on the school's immediate and global environment with a specific focus on the management of waste. The school has a general waste bin and a paper recycle waste system, but no provision for the effective management of organic or plastic waste. Through this project, the school will introduce composting and plastic waste bins into the school and to educate students, staff and the parent community on the value of effective waste management.  A waste audit will be conducted at the beginning of the project to establish the type and amount of waste is being disposed of in general waste bins destined for landfill. This audit will be repeated after implementation of the new recycling systems to measure their effectiveness. Through the Science curriculum, students from all stages will investigate the role they play in finding solutions to the global issue of ecological sustainability. Students will be involved in a number of mathematical problem solving strategies including weighing the waste collected during the audit, tallying the type of waste produced and graphing the results.

Camdenville Public School
Seed to seed: closing the loop

The project will introduce plant propagation and seed saving systems to the existing school garden system. Students will study seed to seed plant production, growing plants from seed, nurturing the plants through to harvest and seed production, collect the seed and beginning the process again. Students will be involved in design, construction and operation of the plant production system. The students will investigate sustainable practices in the production of plants, and will students will plan appropriate investigation methods to test predictions, answer questions or solve problems including surveys, fieldwork, research and fair tests.  A range of food and native plants will be grown from seed or cuttings for planting in the school gardens and sharing with the community. This will have a range of environmental benefits - removing or reducing the need to purchase seed and plants for the school; increasing the quantity and diversity of plants available for planting in the school; providing opportunities to share excess plants with the community garden, the broader community and local projects. As much as possible, re-purposed and recycled materials will be used.  The project will be conducted with active support from the Camdenville Paddock Community Garden and the project will create and encourage other linkages with the local community.

Campbelltown Public School
Bringing the community together with bush tucker

This project will establish a bush tucker garden within the school and provide Campbelltown Public School with an educational resource which can be accessed by all students and the community.  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 Indigenous bush tucker garden will enhance the school environment providing students with opportunities to engage in and develop skills in team work, and food preparation/nutrition to promote sustainability.

Cascade Environmental Education Centre
Biophilic Explore Centre

The Biophilic Explore Centre builds on the school's outdoor learning environment and bush tucker gardens.  The gardens need to be extended to include learn-scape sites to actively engage Stage 1-3 students in nature discovery activities that allow for all students, including those with special needs, to explore a range of learning experiences. Students will increase their knowledge and understanding of the environment and an awareness of sustainability.  The project will include construction of wheelchair friendly animal hides so that all students can better observe the abundant native fauna that live in and around Cascade EEC, enhancing the quality and quantity of animal sightings, and providing authentic student learning experiences and outcomes.

Casino High School
Nunghing Jagun bush tucker and cultural garden rejuvenation

The current Casino High School Junghing Jagun (Bush Tucker) Garden will be re-established and extended, providing the school community 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 and fauna. The Indigenous bush tucker garden will enhance the school environment providing students with opportunities to engage in and develop skills in teamwork, recycling food waste, soil improvement, work readiness, in-school work experience, and food preparation/nutrition to promote sustainability.

Cattai Public School
Cattai cropper's club

The Cattai cropper’s club provides an opportunity for students at Cattai Public School to build and maintain a vegetable garden and orchard. This will provide learnings in a range of environmental areas, from things such as the basics of plant life cycles through to more complex issues like plant structural features and soil composition, building students' awareness and providing hands-on experiences. Students will observe and document the sequence of the life-cycle of a plant, and examine the relationships between plants and animals and how living things in a habitat interact with each other and the environment. Students will also investigate conditions required to grow various plants and how these conditions affect growth.  Activities will include measuring rain, testing soil and looking at soil composition.

Chapel School - Key College Merrylands
Wellbeing

Chapel School provides educational programs for young people at risk of becoming disengaged as well as those already disconnected from mainstream education. Students experience a range of issues including homelessness, drug and alcohol issues, abuse and mental/physical health issues. Through this project, students will learn how to cultivate vegetables and increase their capacity to undertake work experience for environmental organisations. They will learn the value of healthy nutritional choices, and can take their environmental knowledge and create gardens in their community.  Staff will work with the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Teacher Professional Development programs and link with other staff through Community Greening School Networks to develop a horticultural teaching program in Chapel School.

Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus
Outdoor learning space

The outdoor learning will be an open and inclusive learning space for all students that supports the delivery of teaching through the 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning framework. The space will focus on Indigenous plants, and also engage students in a learning experience unique to the space within the school.  Adjacent to the kitchen garden, the outdoor learning space aims to underpin the learning that can take place in a practical garden classroom, engaging students in the local environment through collaborative and natural learning. Including a learning circle and a sensory garden, the outdoor learning area will be a resource for all Key Learning Areas.  Students will undertake workshops about the plant life in the garden. They will also undertake a research project to investigate which plants were native to the area, how they can be maintained and which plants have which qualities to elevate the senses. This will allow them to explore interactions and connections between people, places and environments.

Cobar Public School
Indigenous garden for learning

This project will deliver curriculum based learning through science and technology by focussing on the regeneration of an unused area of the school to increase biodiversity. Students will establish a new native garden, increasing the productivity of the nearby food gardens by encouraging pollinators, predators and other animals to the area.  During this project, students will learn about indigenous plants and animals that complement and rely on each other. Students will make observations, take records of growth patterns and learn about establishing a native garden using existing materials and resources.

Schools D to J - project summaries

Dalmeny Public School
Reduce, reuse, recycle

Dalmeny Public School aims to reduce waste going to landfills by 40 per cent through the implementation of a recycling program.  Specially labelled bins will be installed around the playground and Playground Rangers will encourage children to place appropriate materials in correct bins. The school will work with Liverpool City Council to implement best practice through the Love Food Hate Waste program. New garden beds will be created, including compost bins, worm farms, vegetable gardens and fruit trees. The produce will be supplied to the canteen and local community. Special needs students will have key roles in this program which will help them develop necessary life skills. Recycled materials will be used in art lessons.

Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design
Dulwich Hill High outdoor learning

Dulwich High School has 670 students with a designated support unit of 29 students.  This project aims to offer students with learning disabilities environmental education activities which will assist them learning in life skills whilst having a positive environmental outcome. The students will be involved in tending vegetable/eco therapy gardens and learning about the concept of seed to plate through growing vegetables and fruit trees, composting and then cooking produce.  Students will learn about what can and cannot be composted and why. They will learn about recycling organic matter through use of compost and how this reduces waste to landfill. They will learn that this reduces the impact of waste transport on local and global environment, and develop an understanding of the garden as an ecosystem that supports all living things – plants, insects and soil life, and people.

Duval High School
Sensory and healthy habits garden

The project will use an approximately 40 square metre space to create a sensory and healthy habits garden for students with special needs.  This space will have multiple purposes including environmental learning, and a supportive space for students requiring a quiet area to recollect their emotions.  The project is needed to emotionally support the students as well as educating students around life-long healthy habits.  This will include education surrounding sustainable gardens, beneficial food selection and food preparation.  Some of these students will become their own primary carer within five years time.

East Hills Boys High School
The life hub

The establishment of a sustainable, sensory garden at East Hills Boys High School will provide students with a cross-curricular, outdoor learning resource to engage support class and mainstream students in sustainable practices. The site will facilitate an increased knowledge within students and staff of Eco-principles and sustainable systems. The preservation of resources and the production of self-sustaining organic fertilisers will sustain the gardens, and develop habitats to encourage and support native flora and fauna that will provide students with authentic learning opportunities to build awareness of the impact of humans on their environment. Students will establish healthy, organic gardens that produce organic food. The flora will provide sensory input via smell, touch and sound. The Life Hub project will also establish a school-wide paper recycling program, composting and worm farming systems for recycling organic waste, a Bush Tucker Garden and a 'yarning' learning area, and a sting-less bee colony to pollinate the garden.

Eastwood Heights Public School
SOUP kitchen garden project (sustainable organic urban produce)

The SOUP (sustainable organic urban produce) kitchen garden project is a whole-school and local community initiative designed to create an authentic real-world context for students to learn about designing and caring for local environments in accordance with principles of sustainability, and which both engages local community through participation in Kitchen Garden maintenance while providing a community garden service.  It aims to involve students in the growing of sustainable produce for service (as soup) in the P&C's canteen and the Out of School Hours Care Centre's (OOSHC) kitchen. The learning activities are situated strongly within the new Science and Technology curriculum while foregrounding the new national curriculum's cross-curriculum priority area of Sustainability. It builds on and brings together various school community initiatives, including the SRC's Amaroo gardens, OOSHC's gardens and P&C's grounds improvement and fresh food canteen initiative.  SOUP will provide students with the intellectual framework to understand how these different initiatives fit within a sustainable local school community context.

Eden Public School
Interactive 3D eco-culture calendar project

For students to collaboratively participate in the construction of a cultural garden facility providing a valuable interactive resource through which to deliver ecological and cultural content. This classroom will serve as a formative rich-text and learn-scape that will not only evolve with the seasons but also highlight regional Indigenous knowledge systems.  The organic outer and overhead structures will feature low-tech alternative construction methodologies and model the use of renewable, salvaged and living materials.  Indigenous mosaics will convey local connections to ‘country’ and link the calendar to a sacred fire circle via the specialised design and planting of an Indigenous food-forest. The school will work with the local Indigenous community through the Aboriginal Women At Yamfields (AWAY) Team Workshop, through which students will learn about Indigenous understandings of ‘calendar’ and ‘seasons’ and their cultural applications.

Engadine West Public School
Native bird garden

The purpose of this project is to create a habitat that supports and teaches the importance of biodiversity. With the support of Sutherland Shire Council, BirdLife Australia and Birds In Backyards, Engadine West Primary School will extend the existing native garden with plants specific for the purpose of encouraging small native birds. This is in direct response to the decline of bird numbers and bird diversity in the Sydney Region. Students will monitor the bird population and develop an awareness of the importance of biodiversity.

Evans River K-12 Community School
Bandjalang nature trail and bush tucker garden

Our aim is to construct an outdoor learning space with a strong focus on exploring Aboriginal culture and the environment. A trail would lead from the school's 'yarning circle' into the school's surrounding bushland, ending at a bush tucker garden. Here students would be educated in local Bandjalang names for flora and fauna, and the traditional way of caring for our environment through Aboriginal culture and experience. This will foster a connection to country for our Bandjalang students as well as all students gaining an empathy and understanding of the need to and methods of protecting and preserving our natural bushland.

Forestville Montessori School
Our organic kitchen garden, from seed to plate

The Forestville Montessori organic kitchen garden is a communal space that is to be shared by all students in the primary school equally and aims to reconnect all children with eating healthy and growing food whilst regenerating soils and reducing food waste to landfill.  Using the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation program as a base, students will learn organic gardening seed-to-plate basics such as: composting and soil health, raising seedlings and direct seeding, saving seeds, crop planning, pests and diseases, and harvesting through to food preparation and hygiene.

Giant Steps Sydney
Native bush foods garden

The creation of a native bush garden will provide Giant Steps with a sensory garden of taste, smell and noise with the attraction of native animals. The garden will be created in a layer format with a pond established at the existing sandstone retaining wall, larger shrubs and trees planted along the fence for privacy, and smaller garden beds in the surrounding areas, transforming the empty land. This project will promote environmental sustainability with particular emphasis on waste avoidance and reuse, bush tucker, sensory, native and food gardens, biodiversity, habitat improvement, and the development of environmental learning resources. The creation of the garden will provide an outdoor classroom setting both for environmental education, and also as a sanctuary where students and staff can take time out.

Greenacre Baptist Christian Community School
Greener Greenacre

Greenacre BCCS is a small school in a built up suburban area with limited green space. High school and primary staff and students will work together to plan and build a bush tucker and native garden which will be designed to attract native birds and insects. Recycled containers will be used to plant a vertical garden which will cover the northern wall and stage 1 will set up a worm farm. Students will use the space as a chill out zone and as an outdoor learning environment for ongoing study of biodiversity, classification and sustainability.

GS Kidd Memorial School
Gardening makes sense

To create a native Australian plant garden that allows all students to explore the environment through sensory stimulation.  Our new school provides an opportunity to develop the grounds in a way that involves the entire school community. The garden will be used by all students and across curriculum areas.  Some of our students have difficulty socialising yet find plants and animals boundlessly fascinating. The garden will provide hands-on learning for these students and show them we value their interests.  Students will learn about Australian plant structure, suitability to Australian environment, perfumes, defenses and connection to the web of life.

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School – Helensburgh
Sustainable food gardens - including bush tucker plants

Holy Cross has identified a need to make sustainability and stewardship part of our school culture. We will be installing three to four raised garden beds for vegetables/herbs by end of Term 3 2016 - this only allows small groups of students to work outside at any one time. By purchasing more beds and establishing a small orchard allows whole class activities, maximising student learning time. We aim this project at K-2 students who will be taught permaculture methods including looking after compost and worm farms. We would also incorporate bush tucker plants throughout the gardens to complement studies of Aboriginal culture.

Holy Cross Primary School – Kincumber
Kincumber walk

Our school is situated at the base of Kincumba Mountain, a site significant to the indigenous history of our area. Our project is designed to connect with the indigenous cultural heritage of our community. Our design features reference to Dreaming stories along a Rainbow Serpent path; plantings of local bush tucker; and an information walk featuring interpretive signage providing information about local indigenous culture and personalities as well as information about sustainability practices. We will also link with Taronga Zoo through the Yellow-Bellied Glider programme to provide information about habitat protection for the gliders endemic to our school surrounds.

Hunter River High School
Sustainable footprints-creating impressions for tomorrow

Hunter River High School will construct a sustainable aquaponics system consisting of a series of grow beds and a fish tank. This system will provide the school canteen with a sustainable source of fresh vegetables, whilst modelling sustainable environmental practices that can be easily adapted to the household environment. Produce will be sold to the canteen for use in providing healthy meals to the broader school community, with the profits being reinvested into the aquaponics system. The produce will also be used by our TAS/Hospitality faculty in food preparation for student learning. The system will form an integral part of our marine studies classes that will assist in enhancing competencies in the syllabus and provide an effective hands-on environmental tool for learning. It will also demonstrate to our whole school community the importance of water conservation and sustainable practices along with promoting a greater understanding of what can be achieved between a natural and built environment.

Hurstville Public School
Construction of raised garden beds to enhance student wellbeing

Hurstville Public School is located in a heavily urbanised area where few natural plant communities exist. The majority of our students live in large apartment blocks or units and have little access to garden areas. This garden will provide a much needed 'green' area in the school grounds to support student learning about the environment.  This new garden area will add to the small garden areas that already exist within our grounds. With such large student numbers, more usable garden space is needed so that more students can take part in environmental education. This project will expand the school's composting capacity, and implement the outcomes of a permaculture workshop the school held in 2016 with presenters from Royal Botanic Gardens, Sutherland Council and Botany Bay and Royal National Park Environmental Education Centres.  The project will also assist teachers to understand the use of the garden as a tool for developing student wellbeing and 21st century learning skills.  The concept of using the garden in this way fits with our school plan in which we aim to deliver programs that promote student wellbeing, resilience and confidence.

Irrawang High School
Support Unit playground and garden

Irrawang High School will create a garden where students can grow and eat seasonal vegetable and have quiet places to sit or have time-out. Students will assist in designing the garden and implementing more sustainable gardening and farming practices. Students will improve their knowledge and develop work skills for their transition into the workplace. Our aim is to give the students the skills needed in creating their own gardens and recycle at home. Students will take part in recycling, composting and worm farming.  Curriculum based learning will focus on recognising the characteristics of and changes in living things, exploring the impact of human activity on the Earth’s resources.  Through the Love Food Hate Waste students will learn about food recycling.

Jewells Primary School
Bush Tucker Sensory Garden and Yarning Circle

We will create a multipurpose Bush Tucker Sensory Garden and Yarning Circle within the school grounds. The garden will be located in the geographic heart of the school.  A number of our students have special needs and for these students the garden will provide an alternate area outside of the normal classroom environment in which they can learn.  Ideas for the sensory garden include a living wall, tactile, edible, colourful and aromatic plants, hanging musical items such as chimes.  A Yarning Circle will be located in the centre of the garden and will be used by the entire school community as an outdoor learning area and meeting place. It will incorporate our school totem and storyboards of our local dreamtime story, When the Moon Cried and Formed Belmont Lagoon. This will complement the existing mural depicting this story.

Jugiong Public School
Wiradjuri Yarning Place and Bush Tucker project

Jugiong is situated on the Murrumbidgee River, a traditional Aboriginal trading place.  Jugiong Public School is one of several schools taking part in the Murrumboola Learning Community's "Yalbinyagirri - Learn for the future" program. Through this program, Jugiong Public School will create traditional Wiradjuri garden and landscape.  Students will learn about totems, local culture and practices and Dream Time stories from Roy Levett a local Wiradjuri Elder and friend to the Yalbinyagirri Project. Students will create a bush tucker garden and yarning circle using traditional Wiradjuri plants to be used in cooking, and with support from Riverina Environmental Education Centre, will investigate contemporary and traditional bush tucker and how it can be cooked and used.  By creating and maintaining the landscape and gardens, students will develop knowledge and skills for sustainable living and healthy eating, whilst investigating and improving biodiversity in our school grounds.

Schools K to R - project summaries

Kiama Public School
Propagating the future

Propagating the future will allow Kiama Public School to propagate plants for our permaculture garden, sensory garden, bush tucker garden, native habitat gardens and rainforest discovery garden. We will be collecting seeds, growing from seed, taking plant cuttings, growing from cuttings, swapping cuttings and plants with the community and planting throughout the school and our community. This project will allow us to plant out our grounds and complete the transformation of our grounds into an interactive, productive, biodiverse and beautiful landscape where students, staff and our community actively learn and grow an exciting future.

Kurri Kurri Public School
Lettuce eat restaurant growers garden

We will create a kitchen garden that will be used as part of our life skills program for Support Unit students. Growing our own fresh food will reduce waste for the weekly cooking program by at least 50 per cent. The students will research and study the effects that having a garden in the school has on the local flora and fauna habitats. The students will look at the benefits and be asked to create their own mini garden at home for homework that term. The soil quality will be enhanced through the use of using recycled and organic materials.

Laguna Street Public School
Restoring the remnant-eco and Indigenous trail

The remnant coastal enriched sandstone dry forest on the western boundary has suffered from years of neglect. This restoring the remnant project will involve removing environmental weeds and replacing with indigenous flora using assisted natural regeneration techniques. Other key aspects of the project will be constructing a nature trail through the site to make it accessible for outdoor learning, planting of local native plants used by indigenous people in their daily lives. The school emblem is the flannel flower and with the help of the local council's community nursery this project will also see a reintroduction of flannel flowers on the school grounds.

Lake Munmorah Public School
Bush tucker garden

After a review of parent surveys it was obvious that the school was in need of an area where Aboriginal parents, community members and students could meet. The design of a Bush Tucker garden was instigated by our Aboriginal senior students.   Bush Tucker species indigenous to the area will be highlighted within the design. It is hoped that the species will encourage native fauna into the school.  The school canteen facilities will be available for lessons involving the Bush Tucker produce.  All staff can utilise the area to incorporate the 8 Ways of Aboriginal learning as well as teaching Science and Environmental studies to students.  Community members will be encouraged to assist with the planning, building and maintenance of the garden. Aboriginal families will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the process and utilise the garden in the future. All students and staff will have the opportunity to be involved in various stages of the development of the garden.

Lucas Heights Community School
Sustainability expansion - bush garden, teacher development for all

This project builds upon the passion of staff and students for sustainability by expanding the current garden site to include an Indigenous bush garden (food, medicine and materials for technology) accessible for all of our students (K-12 including those with disabilities) and additional professional development in sustainability for staff across the school.  A cross-disciplinary approach, hands-on learning and involvement of local indigenous community members is needed to change the attitudes and behaviour of the school’s staff and students, their families and the wider community towards more sustainable living. Students will also learn valuable life skills as they participate in the design, construction and maintenance of the bush garden.

Mainsbridge School
Gandangara bush tucker garden

The Gandangara bush tucker garden project will enhance student awareness of Aboriginal culture of the Cabrogal Clan of the Darug Nation and increase their knowledge of indigenous food sources. Students will focus on the art work and bush tucker vegetation that existed in the Gadangarra Land before colonisation. This project will promote environmental awareness giving students an appreciation of our environment, with a major focus on bush tucker plants and vegetation sustainability. To begin, the students will study Aboriginal art and techniques to gain an understanding of how the Darug people used drawings and symbols to communicate. Students will use these techniques to create Aboriginal artwork on stepping stones and create Aboriginal story poles that will be erected in the garden. Students will plant native shrubs and plants such as Citrus australasica (finger lime), Dianella caerulea (blue flax lily), Alpinia caerulea (native ginger), Tetragonia tetragonioides (warrigal greens), Backhousia citrioodora (lemon myrtle), Kunzea pomefera (emu apple) and Tasmania lanceolata (mountain pepper). They will learn through hands on experiences about the basic needs for plant growth, organic waste recycling, uses of native bush tucker plants and sustainable indigenous gardening.

Maitland Grossmann High School P&C
Sensory and bush tucker garden for students with special needs

Our project will establish an accessible area for students with Special Needs to take part in environmental education through programs such as Schools' Tree Day and Vegwatch. Currently many students with disabilities in the Support Unit are excluded due to physical limitations.  An area within school grounds has been identified as an appropriate site for students, teachers and school community to create a Sensory and Bush Tucker Garden incorporating native trees, grasses and shrubs. Natural bush areas provide students with a place to connect with and learn about nature and a way to add biodiversity to school grounds. Corridors of bush are a micro climate necessary for the survival of many species, they support wildlife by providing habitat for insects, native animals, birds and mammals such as the Grey Headed Flying Fox (a vulnerable species of the area). Bush areas also complete the food web and help keep pests in balance.

Maitland Tutorial Centre
MTC chill out patch

Our mission is to provide an outdoor learning environment in the form of a garden. The clientele of our school would greatly benefit from support in managing emotions, as well as hands-on, practical-based learning opportunities. This garden will provide a calming area that may be used by students as part of their self-management strategies, whilst being embedded into the programming of all subject areas. Furthermore, as many of our students are beginning the transition to post-schooling, this garden will provide employment skills such as completing weekly tasks, taking initiative, and teamwork.

Middle Harbour Public School
Habitat enhancement learning project (HELP)

The Habitat Enhancement Learning Project (HELP) is designed to establish whole school processes that engage teachers, students and our local community in the development and delivery of authentic learning experiences which incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. The purpose of these processes is to build strong environmental knowledge, and an awareness and capacity for positive environmental change in the local community as well as the broader context.  As part of an integrated science unit, students in Stage 2 will lead the HELP project. They will be responsible for the environmental improvement of the school grounds by enhancing habitat for indigenous wildlife. By identifying and implementing long-term strategies, the project will reflect best practice in sustainable management. The students' central focus will be a sustainability action process.  Students will learn about key concepts underpinning sustainability by applying their knowledge, skills and understandings to the real life scenario of an enhanced habitat garden. Students will lead the assessment of an existing habitat situation in the school grounds, state a case for change, explore a range of options for habitat enhancement, develop a detailed plan for improvement based on consultation and research, and establish an enhanced habitat garden according to the agreed action plan.  The HELP project is reliant on strong student ownership of all stages of the project. Through the action process, students will learn how to actively lead environmental change in the broader community.

Mingoola Public School
Mingoola community garden

This project will support the development of a Mingoola Community Garden, designed to share cultures and enrich our students. Mingoola is an isolated community, with declining numbers which led to the school being closed in Term 1 2016 due to no school enrolments.  In Term 2 the school reopened with six wonderful, African students in attendance, with additional African students planning to enrol later in 2016. To achieve this, the Mingoola community relocated 2 African refugee families to live and work within the area.  Both African families have suffered adversity, suppression and fear in their homeland Burundi, which has been affected by civil war. After fleeing their homeland the families spent several years in refugee camps.  The school will create a Community Garden to share cultures and build bonds between the parents and the school. Parents will assist their children to turn the earth, select the crops, sow the seeds and harvest their produce. Sustainability practices will be embedded into the students' learning.  The fresh garden produce will be utilised in the students' Life Skills program, where the students will be taught how to cook nutritious Australian and African meals. It will also build links between the school and our wider school community.

Mullumbimby Public School
Mullum kids produce

To assist students to develop an understanding of a fully sustainable garden, students will learn how to improve the quality of the soil using sustainable methods such as worm castings, compost and chicken waste.  They will care for the garden and harvest the produce, seeds for future crops, and care for native bees in order to pollinate plants.  They will prepare a meal with the produce grown to be shared with their peers or a local community centre for those requiring food.

Murrurundi Public School
Bush tucker garden/gathering place

Murrurundi Public School will establish a traditional Bush tucker garden/gathering place within the school grounds.  Three per cent of students identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.  The school would like to extend the cultural knowledge of all its students. Murrurundi is an Aboriginal word taken to mean meeting place at the five fingers. It is believed Aboriginal people once used this area as a watering hole. Students will learn about the cultural heritage of the area, in particular its native vegetation and what was used as bush tucker. In addition to establishing their own traditional bush tucker garden, the area will also be established as an area to sit and share bush tucker, along with stories of heritage with elders and families of our students as well as Aboriginal stories of the dreaming.

Nabiac Public School
Growing great gardeners

Extending the existing vegetable garden space is needed to allow more students greater access and participation in environmental learning.  The new garden beds will supply our canteen with more school grown, organic produce, and maximise the school's ability to up-cycle its organic waste into more efficient composting and worm farm systems. It will make a difference for the environment by creating an experiential outdoor learning area for students where they can experiment, appreciate and gain knowledge and skills around sustainable environmental practices. This project will encourage students to eat fresh, organically grown food options. Up-cycling the school's paper, garden and food waste on site will reduce the school's overall carbon footprint.

Narara Public School
School garden

Narara Public School will extend environmental education to students by creating raised garden beds where students can learn about food sources and sustainability. In addition, we will implement permaculture principles and teach the students about sustainability for our local area. Our vegetable garden will be used by all year groups, including the Early Intervention (support class) unit situated at the school, and will include the establishment of composting and worm farming facilities.  Produce grown in the raised garden beds will be used to educate students on the importance of a healthy and balanced diet.  Students will learn how the environment is impacted by how people treat it. They will learn about life cycles and how people can live in a sustainable way by making simple and easy changes to their lifestyle.

Pittwater House
Stage 2 earth angels: waste warriors and bush tucker garden

In this ongoing initiative, Stage 2 students will be transformed into earth angels and waste warriors who will initially conduct a waste audit in the junior school.  Based on the findings of the audit, students will then decide on actions, embracing an inquiry learning approach.  A potential action that the students may choose to take includes the collection of playground organic waste for use in worm farms and compost bins.  The worm castings and compost will be used to support a newly designed and constructed bush tucker garden, thus minimising waste in the Junior School and increasing awareness of indigenous plants and their uses.

Railway Town Public School
Sustainable sensory space

An inclusive sensory garden will be built in an existing enclosed space in the playground. It will feature plants to smell, taste and feel, sensory boards where students can explore different textures, a musical sensory board, tools to experiment with water and sand play, and a worm farm. This space will allow students who require additional opportunities for sensory exploration, or students who have sensory issues to be stimulated in a safe, comfortable environment. They will learn to care for the plants by maintaining the garden, and our worm farm system will increase the volume of materials recycled and reduce waste. Students will also learn to care for animals in the environment.

Roseville Public School
Sustainable living garden project

The sustainable living garden project will provide a range of learning opportunities that address both environmental and social sustainability themes. The project consists of a series of vegetable gardens, an organic waste area, the storage and use of rainwater and a chicken coop. The project has been designed as a learning platform that will help children develop skills in environmental management, allowing them to grow into effective leaders and change makers as they face the future challenges of climate change. The project will also allow our wider community to work together to develop sustainable patterns for the future.

Schools S to Z - project summaries

Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School
Mullumbimby Creek riparian rainforest regeneration - the western end

Shearwater has been regenerating its 1.6 kilometre section of Mullumbimby Creek's high conservation value riparian sub-tropical rainforest in stages every year for 17 years. We have rehabilitated almost the entire length of the creek and now we are looking to complete the last 100 metres to our western boundary. This section has a narrow but well established canopy of mature native rainforest trees, but the understorey includes many exotic weeds. Working with Class 7 students, teachers and parents we will remove weeds and plant 600 trees and 600 lomandra to expand the forest and help control creek bank erosion.

St Ambrose Primary School Pottsville
St Ambrose, Pottsville student stewardship program

St Ambrose is a new school, in its second year of operation.  Establishing effective waste management and educating our school community regarding recycling and sustainability is an imperative part of the school's foundation.  Through this project we will implement effective waste management and recycling strategies.  Students will investigate the waste produced in the school and the impact on the environment.  Students will learn skills in effective waste disposal and ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  Effective waste management systems, including organic materials, will be established, such as establishing compositing systems and worm farms.

St Anthony of Padua Primary School
Regrow St Anthony's

Recently, Picton was devastated by a flood that swept through the town. We had a thriving vegetable garden and an Aboriginal Garden that were badly damaged, and need to be repaired and replanted to re-establish our environmental education and sustainability programs. Stage One students will learn about the benefits of composting and worm farming in their Sustainability unit of work. Stage Three students will learn mathematical problem solving strategies by collecting and working with data on the number of recycle bins emptied each week, volumes of waste recycled and work to promote the benefits of these programs. Stage One will record the changes in growth of vegetables, and observe and record some of the changes a vegetable shows during its life, using an appropriate digital technology.  Stage Two Science - Living things, the students will be able to describe ways that science knowledge helps people understand the effect of their actions on the environment and on the survival of living things. They will learn about the concept of ‘Paddock to Plate’, in which they will learn where food comes from, and how growing our own food contributes to sustainability by reducing the impacts of transport and by improving the local economy.

St Brigid's Catholic College Lake Munmorah
Fish and chook project

Staff and students at St Brigids will implement an aquaponics system to provide a student learning resource for a number of Key Learning Areas. Students from Food Technology elective and Technology Mandatory, Marine Studies (elective), Science and Geography will play different roles in the planning, setup and maintenance of this project, which will link to the school's vegetable gardens and chicken coop. Students will investigate the impacts on fishing in the local waters, identify and discuss the impact of synthetic fertlisers on the local water ways, and gain an understanding of the processes that influence the choices people make about resource management issues. Composting of waste materials used to add nutrients to garden beds will decrease reliance on syntheic fertlisers for plant growth.

St Catherine's Catholic College Singleton
Sound and taste: sensory gardening K-12

In a secluded area of the college, only used by kindergarten when they practise their gross motor skills, is a piece of land, devoid of beauty and in need of love and attention. Our environmental education project aims to reclaim this disused space for a sensory garden. Small sections (rooms) will be created in the space focusing on each of the senses. This specific project is to focus on sound and taste, with the establishment of a frog-welcoming water feature and pond and the beginning of our vegetable garden.

St Clare's Catholic School Narellan Vale
Outdoor living classroom

Our school has a large underutilised outdoor area that has the potential to be an inviting, engaging outdoor living classroom.  We will work together with staff, students, parents and our community to create this educational space.  With care and consideration for the environment, our Indigenous custodians of the land and following in the footsteps of our patron saints, St Clare and St Francis of Assisi, students will have a hands on approach to the curriculum. It will also support their social and emotional well-being, while answering to Pope Francis’ call to hear the ‘cry of the earth’ and take action.

St Michael's Catholic Primary Stanmore
Veggie explosion program

The St Michael's Veggie Explosion project is an opportunity to educate students and their families in the skills required to grow edible gardens in small urban spaces.  The project is based on the Edible Garden Programme prepared by Leonie McNamara with the support of the former Marrickville Council. The project teaches skills pertaining to recycling, composting, biodiversity, water reduction and conservation.  Students and their families contribute to the school garden within the school grounds.  Harvested vegetables are sold back to the local school community. This allows students to participate in the life-cycle of edible plants and how they are grown.

St Patrick's Parish School Cooma
Boosting our biodiversity - worms, birds and bees!

Our school is located on the Monaro plains of NSW where we experience a harsh winter climate, which causes significant gardening limitations. Our garden soil suffers due to a lack of organic matter, wind exposure and challenges such as heavy frosts and sometimes snow. This leads to difficulties growing plants.  To encourage bird life and bees into our school we need to successfully grow habitat for the birds and pollen laden plants for the bees.  To do this we need to improve our soil, mulch and enhance the sustainability of our gardens. A beautiful environment will also help our learning!

St Therese Catholic School West Wollongong
Going green at St Therese

The going green project at St Therese is essential to the environmental impact our school and community has on our planet. Presently, as a whole school, we recycle only paper. Going green will change this dramatically, with the introduction of composting and worm farming organic waste as well as the recycling of glass, plastic, aluminium, yoghurt pouches, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, paper and cardboard.  The project will empower our community to have an impact on the environment through recycling activities at school. All members of the Parish and school community will be encouraged to be active in waste reduction activities with Year Four students gaining practical knowledge and skills in composting and recycling.

St Therese's Community School
Bush tucker garden and yarning circle

The project involves creating a Bush Tucker Garden and Yarning Circle to teach the boys and girls about being custodians of the land. The boys and girls of St Therese's are all indigenous. There are 6 aboriginal staff and five non-indigenous staff.  The school has an active Paakantji Program, promoting the children's Paakantji culture and language. This program strongly involves links to country and nature. We currently have a European style vegetable garden. We would like to learn about the range of native plants of this semi-arid region and develop a garden to complement the current one.  The plan is to also develop a Yarning Circle within the garden area where the children, staff and members of the community could sit in the traditional circle and learn about their Paakantji heritage.   The school is located in bush, 100 metres from the Darling River. The hope is that knowledge and understanding the project would lead to further environmental studies outside our gates.

Tumut High School
Tumut Grevillea and bush tucker project

The project’s aim is to foster an appreciation of Wiradjuri cultural history and locally endangered native plants by growing Tumut Grevillea and local Bush Tucker plants. The grant would provide the funds to further develop a hardening off area, and the development of an Educational Native garden which would provide plant material for propagation. The area would be utilised by various groups including Agriculture students, Aboriginal Ed programmes e.g. Brospeak and support classes. It would complement local Land Care partnerships and programmes such as Save our Species – Fishes, Frogs and Fauna and the local Landcare nursery.

Uki Public School
Bees, birds and butterflies: cross-pollinators

Through this project students and teachers will investigate the environmental value of native bee population, small native bird habitats and Richmond Birdwing Butterfly habitats in the Mount Warning region of NSW.  The establishment of a habitat that supports and sustains the interlinked biodiversity and co-existence of the three native species as cross-pollinators, is the main focus of the project.  Because these species are vulnerable and of concern in this region, a deeper understanding of how to protect and sustain such species is urgently needed.  This habitat will regenerated an under-utilised area of the school grounds adding an environmental corridor between the school and neighbouring native bushland for native species to thrive.

Ulong Public School
Gumbaynggirr garden

The project will incorporate a sensory garden using local native plants, herbs and bush tucker plants.  The garden will enable exploration of this area through, taste, touch, smell, sight and sound with a special emphasis on local Aboriginal culture. The space will be designed by students and constructed in consultation with community members and local environmental experts.   Our students need a peaceful space where they can reflect, explore and develop their understanding of the environment. It will help our students to understand local Aboriginal perspectives.   It will make a difference to the school environment by providing flowers, fruits and nuts to attract native bees, birds and animals. It will also develop real life skills, shared experiences, visual success, pride, health benefits and sustainable living.

Wahroonga Public School
The bush patch and green waste project

Wahroonga Public School student environmental committee (ERC) is currently developing plans to implement a vegetable and permaculture garden as well as a composting system into our school. The plans have been developed following a strong focus of ERC students to integrating sustainability into school life and reducing our school's ecological footprint. The plans are also in response to a waste audit determining a very large amount of compostable waste being generated by our school.  We believe that our composting program will integrate well with our current 'crunch and sip' program and assist the success of our bush patch vegetable gardens.

Waratah Public School
Native epithet/fern sensory tranquillity garden

The project will be in an established planting of trees, providing a canopy for this rainforest project.  We will develop the understorey creating an environment which will replicate elements of a rainforest including plants and simple ecosystems. This would provide a valuable on-going resource the whole school will utilise by addressing curriculum outcomes in an engaging outdoor space where students will learn the importance of enjoying and preserving our natural environment. The project would also provide a relaxing space for students to reflect or recharge and build a sense of pride within the school.

Wentworthville Public School
Sensory bush tucker garden

The Sensory bush tucker garden will enhance all student and staff understanding of environments which positively impact on the surroundings and community. Greater understanding and hands-on experience establishing, caring for and maintaining native and introduced species of plants, exploration of bush-tucker native to the area, understanding of plants which positively impact upon student well-being and re-generation of land. This garden will incorporate elements of sustainability through use of composting, worm farming, mulching and water use from our water tanks. Increased educational opportunities, understanding and hands-on experience will impact upon outcomes for students and staff towards achieving a sustainable future.

William Carey Christian School
Seed to lunches @ WCCS

To create an environmentally sustainable edible garden, exposing students to plant and animal growth cycles and engaging in the planting to harvesting and raring to laying process.  The garden will be established and maintained by the school community.  The produce will service areas of the school, including the school canteen.  The canteen aims to utilise the produce throughout the menu, promoting healthy, fresh food options.  Canteen and crunch and sip scraps will be collected to complete the cycle, with waste being used as compost and feed for the chickens and then used to fertilise the garden – seed to lunch box.

Wollondilly Public School
Sensory garden

Wollondilly Public School has 13 mainstream classes and a Special Education support class. We are wishing to establish a sensory garden that caters for the varying social and emotional needs of our students, as well as a place for learning about environmental sustainability. The garden will be used by students in Kindergarten to Year 6 during playground sessions, personal development activities and as a calming area for students with emotional and behavioural issues. Classes will also use the garden as an outdoor learning environment, particularly in the Science and Technology and Geography Key Learning Areas.

Woodport Public School
Let's get it sorted!

The Woodport school community has identified the need to reduce the amount of waste generated by the school that winds up in landfill. A significant percentage of school rubbish entering the general waste stream are items that could be recycled. We wish to implement a whole school waste system that will reduce waste and improve recycling rates. In conjunction with this we wish to implement a multi-faceted educational program that improves student, staff and community awareness of the impact of waste on the environment and our part in creating a more sustainable future.

Woolgoolga Public School
K-6 school gardens and recycling

This project will involve: (a) updating existing garden beds to create a bush tucker and herb garden near a proposed outdoor classroom area currently being planned by our P and C committee. (P&C are funding the entire construction of our outdoor classroom.); (b) extending our already operating vegetable garden by creating a small citrus orchard and herb garden and to add a small green house for students to use to propagate seeds and seedlings; and (c) introducing worm farms to each stage (Early Stage 1, Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3) to introduce food recycling to all classes K-6. Liquid and compost from the worm farms will be utilised in the bush tucker and herb gardens and also in the vegetable patch and citrus orchard.

Yetman Public School
Creating a living classroom at Yetman

Yetman Public School has a goal of creating a food garden and chicken coop for the school that can be a living classroom for environmental education and enable the school and isolated Yetman community to collaborate on environmental education delivery. The garden will deliver seasonal fresh produce to the school’s canteen, promoting healthy eating and increasing awareness of where food comes from. A chicken coop will also be created based on permaculture theory. The project will collaborate with the wider Yetman community through involving residents as volunteers and enable long term environmental education outcomes.

Page last updated: 31 May 2017