Across the region there is a growing network with 80 schools and early childhood centres who are part of the Enviroschools kaupapa. Enviroschools is inspiring and empowering people of all ages through connection, creativity and action to help create a sustainable future. Through Enviroschools, tens of thousands of innovative projects and lifestyle changes are happening in schools/centres, households, neighbourhoods, local businesses, on farms, and in all types of ecosystems. Some projects are small-scale in one school, while others involve hundreds of people working across a whole catchment or community.

Our Enviroschools are supported by a facilitation team. Every early childhood centre and school across the country is unique, with its own ecology, history, culture and community – so Enviroschools looks different in every setting. The journey of connecting with the place and its people is designed and led by each school/centre, with our facilitation team on hand to provide advice, guidance, support and motivation to help them on their sustainability journey.

Enviroschools is supported through our partnerships with all the city and district councils in our region, along with the Ruahine Kindergarten Association. A big thank you for their ongoing support.
 

What do Enviroschools do and how do we support them?

Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini.  Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.

Teachers at Enviroschools role model and empower their young people to undertake action projects. We run regular workshops, wānanga and hui which aim to inform and inspire teachers, and provide opportunities for them to network with others. This helps to increase the pool of knowledge in our network.

Check out a snapshot of our mahi across the region.

Enviroschools teachers relish the opportunity to visit other Enviroschools to gather ideas to take back to their own school/centre. In 2018, we held our first regional road trip, with 57 teachers from 23 schools visiting an urban and a rural Enviroschool.

The 2020 regional early childhood education (ECE) wānanga focussed on Māori perspectives through the theme of water.

Our students are also supported through hui. Connecting and empowering our young student enviro-leaders led us to running our first hui for primary aged students. Our Forgotten Fauna hui was all about our lesser known native animals, bats, fish and lizards.

Our secondary school students are also active in connecting with each other. In 2018 students from the Enviro-Group at Palmerston North Girls’ High School (PNGHS) ran a wero student conference for 45 students from other secondary schools in Manawatū and Rangitīkei districts. They heard from a range of speakers, made reusable bags from old t-shirts for op shops to use in place of single use plastic bags, and spent time in their individual school teams planning wero to take action in their own schools and communities.

In 2019, students from the three Enviroschools in Palmerston North Student Hui were supported in to run a student workshop for around 50 students from Ross Intermediate, Freyberg High School and Palmerston North Girls’ High School. The students discussed current Environmental Issues as a large group and then in smaller year groups as well as solutions and the best way to address issues.

The students were positive and innovative, with many actions noted to take back to implement in schools. The students and teachers then went on to visit Manchester Street School in Feilding, which was a silver Enviroschool at the time and became a Green Gold Enviroschool in 2020. Students were given a tour of the school and talks from leaders, teachers, and the Principal.

Pat Kelly Enviroschools Action Fund

Although our Enviroschools are very innovative in finding ways to source, repurposing or upcycle resources for projects, sometimes a little extra funding is needed to get them started. The Pat Kelly Enviroschools Action Fund was set up in memory of former Horizons Councillor Pat Kelly (pictured right) who was a huge advocate for the programme.

Here are some examples of a few projects which were supported by funding:

  • Turaki School have built a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse for growing native seedlings.
  • Orautoha School had an 18 year old tunnel/shadehouse which was badly in need of a new cover. The growing season is short in Orautoha so having a functioning tunnel house has allowed them to grow veges all year round for the whānau.
  • Healthy eating and having access to fresh fruit was a project Monrad Intermediate School have been working on. They have transformed their school landscape with numerous fruit trees and bushes.
  • Year 1 and 2 classes at Newbury School have taken on the responsibility of feeding and caring for their worms. Year 2 classrooms have designed containers for every class across the school to collect their food scraps for their new Hungry Bin worm farms they purchased with their grant.

Turaki School

Turaki School

Orautoha School

Orautoha School

Monrad Intermediate School students planting fruit trees and bushes

Monrad Intermediate School
 

Newbury School worm farms.

Newbury School