Environmental Education

Environmental education is about increasing knowledge and awareness of the environment and some of its associated challenges. It aims to help develop the necessary skills to address these issues, make informed decisions and take responsible action for the benefit of our region.

We encourage people to enjoy our beautiful region, but to do so with a respect and understanding that it is a precious resource. Environmental education is about understanding, knowledge, attitude and participation.

Meet Sarah

We offer a variety of environmental education activities delivered by our Environmental Educator, Sarah Williams. We are also the regional coordinators of the Enviroschools programme, which is an environmental action-based programme where young people are empowered to design and lead sustainability projects in their schools, neighbourhoods and country.

Sarah is skilled and knowledgeable in many different areas, and is available to speak at schools, provide advice and information to teachers, present to community groups, and run tailored workshops on environmental issues. There is no direct cost to schools for any of our education sessions. If you are interested in booking a session with Sarah, or you want to chat about what we could do offer, please contact us.
 

Horizons Regional Council Environmental Educator Sarah Williams

Horizons Environmental Educator Sarah Williams

What we can offer

Environmental education tile
Enviroschools tile

Whether you are wanting your students to explore their environment, would like support in developing your curriculum, or as a teacher you want to upskill on environmental topics, we can help.
 

Learn more about the programme, what our Enviroschools do, and how to get involved.

Go to our Enviroschools section

Seedlings

Find out more about what's been happening in the world of environmental education by subscribing to our Seedlings eNewsletter.

This newsletter contains the latest information on events across our Region as well as a selection of handy resources, activities and details of upcoming events.

Contact us to showcase your school, event or story with the environmental education world.

Fill in your details, choose SEEDLINGS from the drop-down menu and click SUBMIT to subscribe.

Environmental education activities

Environmental education is learning ABOUT the environment, completing activities IN the environment and taking action FOR the environment. Much of our education provision is bespoke. Sessions are tailored according to your specific focus, and age of your students.

We recommend that you complete some initial activities about your chosen topics with your students prior to engaging with our educator. Here are some examples of activities we have done in the past, but contact Sarah to discuss your requirements.
 

Freshwater

Enviroscapes® is a water catchment model that explores run-off (or non-point source) pollution, which contributes a great deal to the pollution in our waterways. This class-based resource has a range of activities which help students to identify the types of non-point source, or run off, pollution, coming from both urban and rural areas. Students can also discuss ways to mitigate the pollution to keep our waterways healthy. This activity is a great precursor to conducting a Waiora stream study.
 
Waiora stream study investigates water quality issues, aquatic habitats and the impacts of land management. The programme is available as a facilitated session or you can simply borrow the monitoring kit and carry out your own study. A full teacher’s guide is included in the kit. Although this programme is aimed at senior primary to intermediate, we can bespoke it to any age group.
 
Kura Kaitiaki Water Conservation is our water conservation resource which aims to raise awareness about our fresh water as a finite resource and a precious taonga. It explores the issues associated with using tap water and covers the concepts of water conservation. This is a must have resource for teachers keen to explore water. Download an e-copy, or contact us to request a hard copy. For those in Whanganui, there is an additional resource available that looks at how water gets to your taps and what water treatment process it has gone through.

Enviroscapes session at Parkland School

Learning about water clarity as part of the Waiora Stream Study programme.

Kura Kaitiaki Water Conservation resources.

Biosecurity (pest animals and plants)

Pests animals are hugely damaging to our native flora and fauna. Not only do they eat both young and adult animals, they compete for the same food sources, whether these are invertebrates, plants or trees. With the introduction of an ambitious plan to rid New Zealand of our most damaging introduced predators by 2050, we encourage schools to explore this topic with your students.

If you are keen to further your inquiry, we offer outdoor activities looking at animal tracking and trapping. For example, finding out what pests are living in the school grounds or at home using their footprints and their teeth marks. More information on these activities are available here.

Finally, if your school is interested in backyard trapping to remove pests from your school grounds, then we will be able to advise on the best methods and, if available, lend you traps.

Pest plants or weeds threaten our unique biodiversity. There are more pest plants growing in the wild in New Zealand than native plant species. They threaten the long-term survival of some of our native animals by changing or destroying their habitat.

School students learning about pest animal trapping.

Biodiversity

Exploring what lives in your local native bush or your school grounds is a great way to inspire and excite your students.

We are able to offer presentations, activities and field trips on a range of biodiversity themes such as invertebrates, trees, fungi and birds, across primary and secondary levels.

There may also be opportunities for your students to participate in native planting projects.

Learning about biodiversity on school grounds.