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Green Auckland school gets a Gold

Media Release
7 June 2006

Green Auckland school gets a Gold

Meadowbank School in Auckland has been recognised as a national model for environmental education. The school is one of only four schools nationwide to have achieved the prestigious Green-Gold level in the Enviroschools Awards Scheme.

On Friday 9 June the school are holding a celebration, which includes a formal presentation of the award by the Hon Chris Carter Minister of Conservation.

The awards, which were developed by the Auckland Regional Council in partnership with The Enviroschools Foundation in 2002, are part of the national Enviroschools Programme. The programme encourages schools to become sustainable communities, incorporating best environmental practices that will carry over into home and every-day life. There are 93 ‘enviroschools’ in the Auckland region, nearly 20% of the region’s schools. They are part of a national network of over 350 schools. The Enviroschools Programme is growing rapidly as schools see the benefits that this future focused education has for student learning, the health of the environment and social atmosphere of the school.

“The Enviroschools approach has allowed our students to gain life skills through experiential learning. The whole school has been involved with our gully development and Environmental Programmes, working towards sustainability and a sense of environmental responsibility,” said Principal, Peter Ayson, Meadowbank School.

At Meadowbank students choose the projects they want to work on, they then design and lead the projects, many of which are influencing their families and the wider community. Students, staff and community members have worked together to transform the gully running through the school from a disused and overgrown area into a wonderful natural learning resource. It now has paths, an amphitheatre and information signs that teach people about the gully ecosystem. To reduce school waste students have developed systems for re-using materials, composting and recycling. The student Enviro-Fernz group are also taking on traffic congestion and air pollution; they are promoting a system of walking school buses to parents and students.

The recent Government announcement of $13 million over four years for environmental education will help more New Zealand schools follow the example shown by Meadowbank. Sukhi Turner, Chairperson of The Enviroschools Foundation, says “Sustainability education is a positive response to the increasing doom and gloom of global environmental issues. This funding will mean increased support for schools working towards a sustainable future.”

ENDS

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