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Arakura Kindy celebrates recognition from Enviroschools

20 November 2017

Arakura Kindergarten celebrates recognition from Enviroschools

Arakura Kindergarten in Wainuiomata is the first kindergarten in Lower Hutt to become a Silver Enviroschool. Referred to as a reflection rather than an award, the silver reflection recognises the kindergarten’s long-term commitment to a more sustainable future.

"Arakura Kindergarten began their Enviroschools journey in 2014, when the Hutt City Council provided support for early childhood centres to join Enviroschools.” said Michelle Ducat, Enviroschools Facilitator.

The journey started with small steps to encourage new behaviours and looking for ways to improve everyday practices within the kindergarten.

“They firstly explored waste with their tamariki, including lunchbox packaging. The kindergarten then set up new systems to reduce waste to landfill, involving the children in this process.” said Ducat.

Over the last three years, the teachers have developed the kindergarten to make better use of the natural environments. Creating areas such as Māra kai - their vegetable garden, butterfly gardens, bug hotels, and composting.

“The next step in the journey for Arakura Kindergarten is to maintain and deepen their thinking about sustainability. Increasing the learning and action across the whole centre.” said Ducat.

Plans for new features to further grow the learning spaces for the children are underway.

“The team have already talked about exploring the relationship tamariki have with water and looking at opportunities to develop relationships with other natural spaces, as well as ways of extending how the community garden in used.” said Ducat.

Arakura Kindergarten celebrated their accomplishment with a sausage sizzle and certificate presentation by Sandy Beath-Croft, Environmental Sustainability Advisor City Development at Hutt City Council. The community garden, at the entrance of the kindergarten, was the venue due to its significance in the journey. Its development in an otherwise vacant space with the help of families and local businesses signalled the beginning of their Enviroschools journey.


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