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Auckland school earns top environmental award

Auckland school earns top environmental award


27 November 2007

Beachlands School is one of only two schools nationwide to be awarded the prestigious Green-Gold Enviroschools Award, this year.

A further 33 schools in the Auckland region are to receive silver or bronze awards, in recognition of their commitment to working towards becoming more sustainable, at a ceremony held at Meadowbank Primary School on Friday.

The Enviroschools awards, which were developed by the Auckland Regional Council in partnership with The Enviroschools Foundation in late 2002, are part of the national Enviroschools programme.

Beachlands School was awarded the Green-Gold award for many projects including growing their own vegetables. The extra vegetables grown at the school’s Kaiawa gardens are sold to parents as a World Vision fundraiser.

The school has a student environmental group which helps plan initiatives. Students are responsible for a strong waste minimisation system including making sure there is no litter in the school grounds. At school assemblies every week students nominate a class for the Litter Shield.

The students have strong connections to their community. They volunteer on planting days at Omana Park and are involved in regional initiatives such as cockle and stream monitoring programmes. The school has well established systems for reducing waste and using water efficiently.

The Green-Gold award requires commitment to continuous improvement to sustainability, and is not awarded lightly. Only seven schools, including the two schools this year, have earned a Green-Gold. The award is valid for three years after which schools must reapply.

ARC Environment Management Chair, Dianne Glenn says the awards are designed as an incentive for schools to become actively involved in education for a sustainable future and to undertake initiatives that will make a real difference in their communities.

“Enviroschools is a fantastic way for young people to learn about sustainability issues. It’s also a great programme because as well as improving their school and making a difference in their community they are learning important life skills.”

The level of awards becomes more complex as they progress from Bronze, through Silver to Green-Gold over five to six years.

Examples of other sustainability initiatives carried out by Enviroschools include setting up walking school buses, planting of native trees, no-dig gardens, reducing the amount of waste to landfill, composting and worm farms, designing and making calico bags to replace plastic bags.

ENDS

Other award winners:

Silver
Gladstone School
Greenhithe Primary School
Northcote College
Owairoa School
Sherwood School
St James Kindergarten
Sunnyhills School
Torbay School

Bronze
Arohanui Special School
Bayview School
Glendowie Primary
Kelston Girls High School
Kowhai Intermediate
Marshall Laing School
Murrays Bay Primary School
Newmarket School
Northcross Intermediate
Oratia School
Otahuhu Primary School
Owairaka School
Pakuranga Heights School
Silverdale Primary School
St Josephs School
St Leo’s School
St Thomas’s School
Swanson School
Sunnybrae Normal School
Redhill School
Te Huruhi School
Wakaaranga School
Waiau Pa School
Waiheke Primary School
Windy Ridge School

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