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 programmes and our environmental educator, Sarah Williams, is skilled and knowledgeable in many different areas.

Sarah is available to speak at schools, provide advice and information to teachers, present to community groups and run tailored workshops on environmental issues. If you are interested in booking a time with Sarah, please contact us.

To learn more about the environmental education programmes on offer, please see the factsheets below.

Biodiversity Activities

Biodiversity activities

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, across primary and secondary levels. There may also be opportunities for your students to participate in native planting projects.
 
If you have not yet begun to explore biodiversity topics, have a look at some of these resources as a starting point. You could investigate topics such as what makes New Zealand’s native animals unique or check out these three sites;

Pest Activities

With the introduction of an ambitious plan to rid New Zealand of the most damaging introduced predators by 2050, we encourage schools to explore this topic with your students.

If you have yet to do an inquiry on this topic, we recommend you have a look at the resources listed under biodiversity acitivies as a starting point. They are a good introduction to our pest animals and how they impact on New Zealand’s wildlife. In addition to these activities check out the Predator Free 2050 website.
 
If you are keen to further your inquiry on this topic, 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. We can do this by making tracking tunnels and chew cards. 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 out traps.

Water-related Activities

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.

River Journey follows a stream from its source to the sea exploring water pollution. This is a great precursor to Waiora, and is a good introduction to water quality issues for younger students.
 
Kura Kaitiaki Water Conservation aims to raise awareness about freshwater as a finite resource and explores issues related to using tap water. 

Curriculum Development and Teacher Professional Development

Enviroschools

In addition to providing school programmes to students, we are also able to assist your teachers in curriculum planning and can run workshops to upskill teachers in different environmental topics. This includes developing projects for NCEA assessments.  

We are the Regional Coordinators of the Enviroschools programme. Enviroschools aims to create a generation of people who think and act sustainability (e.g. social/cultural, economic and environmental). Across the Region we have a growing network with over 45 schools and early childhood centres on their Enviroschools journey. If you are interested to learn more about the programme, have a read here

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

Subscribe to Seedlings

Enviroschools

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A key tool in our environmental education toolbox is the Enviroschools Programme. Enviroschools offers a process for students to develop a connection with the environment and make educated decisions.
 

Kura Kaitiaki: Water Conservation

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Our water conservation resource 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.

What's the Plan Stan?

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This resource is developed by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management for teaching in schools. We can also support further learning through environmental educator or our skilled emergency management officers. Check out this page to help be prepared.

Waiora

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Our Waiora programme is a hands on journey into our Region’s many water sources and their impact on our lives. With a Teachers' Guide on hand, and a facilitated stream study available, this is a popular programme in our summer months.

River Journey

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River Journey follows a stream from its source to the sea. It aims to explain to students what pollution is, how a river gets polluted and asks questions as to what we can do to make it healthy again. 

Other providers and links

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There are many enviro-ed providers operating in our Region, as well as other organisations and groups you may find interesting or helpful. Here is a list of who we know about, but it isn't exhaustive. If you know of others you'd like to see included, please get in touch.

Funding and fundraising ideas

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We all know that sometimes it is a struggle to find the funds to get projects off the ground and keep up the momentum. There are plenty of options and opportunities out there so we've compiled a list to help you get started.