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Eight Recognised At Regional Enviroschools Awards

Eight Recognised At Regional Enviroschools Awards

Eight Northland schools have been recognised for a range of environmental initiatives - including releasing rare native snails on an island reserve - at the region’s second annual Enviroschools Awards.

Enviroschools is a whole-school approach to environmental education. It encourages student-driven action, based on sustainable management of resources in several key areas of school life.

The Northland Regional Council played a key role in bringing Enviroschools north in 2003 and there are now about 30 local schools in the programme, which began in 1993 and now includes more than 500 schools nationally.

Susan Karels, an Environmental Education Officer with the Regional Council, says the Enviroschools Awards are now in their second year in Northland.
“The awards effectively recognise the whole school community, which includes students, teachers, non-teaching staff, trustees and local members of the public.”

Mrs Karels says there are three levels of awards; ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and the highest, seldom-awarded ‘green-gold’.

This year the Regional Council (which co-ordinates the Northland Enviroschools programme) has once again joined forces with Ministry of Education advisory arm TEAM Solutions (which facilitates the programme in schools) to run the awards.

Two schools – Ohaeawai and Mangakahia Area - received silver awards at a special ceremony in Kerikeri yesterday (Weds 05 December) for their long-running and in-depth environmental work. The remaining six schools were presented with bronze awards.

Mrs Karels says silver award winner Ohaeawai School “lives and breathes” environmental education and is being recognised for a myriad of projects and practices, including winning a national competition that earned it hundreds of native trees for a school makeover.

This year’s only other silver award winner, Mangakahia Area School, is another champion for environmental sustainability and includes three student-driven envirogroups addressing issues including waste reduction, biodiversity and running the whole school on an environmental footing.

Mrs Karels says the remaining, bronze award recipients, were recognised for a diverse range of environmentally-themed projects and practices.


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