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20 schools share $20,000 Northland Regional Council awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Projects from energy efficient olive harvesting to planting natives to cut highway traffic noise are among 21 school initiatives to share this year's $20,000 Northland Regional Council Environmental Curriculum Awards (ECAs).

Regional Council Environmental Education Officer Susan Botting says the annual awards aim to foster excellence in environmental education, with schools eligible for up to $2000 each for their efforts to educate children 'in, about and for' the region's environment.

This year's 20 recipients will receive between $424 and $1800 each for their 21 projects*. (*SUBS: One Tree Point School is being funded for two projects)

"Once again, this year's projects are impressive; both in their scope and their quality. Especially pleasing is the increasing role that students are playing in planning and designing them," Ms Botting says.

She says the ECAs recognise and support the environmental education efforts put in by more than 2000 Northland students (aged five to 18) in 132 classes and/or school student environmental groups. Six winning schools are based in the Far North, 10 the Whangarei District and three in Kaipara.

The winning schools and GST exclusive funding for their projects are:

1. Dargaville Intermediate. Project: Budding Horticulturalists Funding: $821.15 Contact: Diane Papworth (09) 439 8045 Project details: ECA enables the purchase of a mist propagation unit to boost schoolground greenhouse production of vegetables and other plants. Students will learn propagation methods to use in the greenhouse.

2. Huanui College. Project: Wetland

Funding: $1800 Contact: Kristen Sanderson (09) 459 1930

Project details: ECA contributes to school fencing off its wetland area to improve water quality in Opapaka Stream. This area is at the head of the Whangarei Harbour's Hora Hora sub-catchment.

3. Kamo Intermediate. Project: Islands of Life (2011)

Funding: $894.80 Contact: Jan O'Connor (09) 435 0343

Project details: ECA helps to expand on the school's decade-old Islands of Life environmental education project with further plantings.

4. Karetu School. Project: Well Water Funding: $500 Contact: Cherie Anderson (09) 404 0273

Project details: ECA contributes to the purchase of a NIWA Stream Health Monitoring Kit as part of efforts to rejuvenate local wetlands. This is seen as integral to boosting catchment water and contributing to estuary health.

5. Kaurihohore School. Projects: Seed for Raising for Sustainability

Funding: $1300 Contact: Leslee Allen (09) 435 0041 Project details: Funding assists efforts to boost the school's sustainability efforts through contributing to the purchase of a greenhouse to grow seedlings. Worm farm 'juice' produced at the school will be used to assist plant growth.

6. Kerikeri High School. Project: Seedling Nursery

Funding: $750 Contact: Ria Bright (09) 407 8916 Project details: ECA contributes to the creation of a seedling nursery for production of native and unusual heirloom seedlings with a growing house, polytunnel and gardening materials. This project's being driven by the school's Environmental Education-themed Recycling Action Group (RAG).

7. Okaihau College. Project: Sensory Garden

Funding: $1000 Contact: Lynne Couling-Brown (09) 401 9030

Project details: ECA facilitates the establishment of a sensory garden. The creation of this garden's a team effort across many different school class levels. This garden will be used by the school's special needs unit students.

8. Onerahi School. Project: Irrigation System

Funding: $500 Contact: Renay Brown (09) 436 0521

Project details: Funding is being used to purchase a 1500 litre rain water tank as part of establishing an irrigation system to water vegetable gardens and future planting expansion. The project's themed on students learning about sustainable water management and other aspects of Environmental Education.

9. One Tree Point School. Project 1: Sustainability Station $850, Project 2: South Side Seat $250.00

Funding (for both projects): $1100.00 Contact: Lynda Mackey (09) 432 7891

Project details: ECA contributes to two school environmental education projects. Sustainability Station sees the construction of storage bays for collecting resources such as weeds, food scraps and lawn clippings for composting. South Side Seat meanwhile, sees the establishment of a quiet corner for reading and thinking that's enhanced with native plantings in a traditional koru design. Native insect species will be introduced to this area in future.

10. Opua School. Project: Sustainability Total funding: $1500 Contact: Roger Young (09) 402 7840

Project details: ECA assists the expansion of the school's multi-pronged, sustainability-themed environmental education. This expansion's to come from an incubator to encourage egg production, thereby producing more chickens and a honey extractor to help collect honey from its existing beehive for marketing.

11. Oromahoe School. Project: Sensory Garden

Funding: $900 Contact: Pauline Stephinson (09) 407 7834

Project details: ECA goes towards the creation of a sensory garden to create an easily accessible area of unique biodiversity. This will allow students to experience nature through all their senses and build on student interest in an existing neighbouring butterfly garden which attract major interest from children.

12. Otaika Valley School. Project: Water Supply

Funding: $1061.54 Contact: Eden Tomlinson (09) 432 2731

Project details: ECA enables the purchase of a 3000 litre water tank to boost the long-term survival of existing school ground orchard and new garden areas. The school has a number of existing gardens including a much-loved butterfly garden.

13. Oturu School. Project: Energy Efficient Olive Picking

Funding: $1105 Contact: Fraser Smith (09) 408 2050

Project details: ECA sees the expansion of ever-growing and unique environmental education projects with the purchase of resources to improve olive-harvesting efficiency.

14. Parua Bay School. Project: Wildlife Pathway (2011)

Funding: $1100 Contact: Gail Green (09) 436 5814

Project details: ECA helps boost the wildlife pathway that has been developed by the school and community over recent years. The award enables the purchase of native trees to plant alongside the pathway that links the school with its Whangarei Harbour foreshore.

15. Ruakaka School. Project: Let the Water Flow

Funding: $734.50 Contact: Jennifer Hay (09) 432 7503

Project details: ECA contributes to materials needed for setting up a water tank-based irrigation system to use in vegetable gardens over summer - part of expanding on the school's well-established gardening programmes. Worm farming and composting are also carried out.

16. Ruawai Primary School. Project: Sustainable Gardening / Mahinga Kai

Funding: $850 Contact: Dianne Simpson (09) 439 2307

Project details: ECA contributes towards the purchase of a polyhouse to boost the existing whole-school gardening approach. Five raised garden beds have been created - one per class - with a huge range of plants involved.

17. Tangiteroria School. Project: Native Bush Learning Environment Project - Bush Track

Funding: $424.34 Contact: Braden Eades (09) 433 2635

Project details: ECA contributes to the formation of an all-weather track through the school grounds to link with a learning platform built in the school's native bush area in 2010. This native bush area is unique to Tangiteroria School.

18. Totara Grove School. Project: E tupu tahi - Growing together

Funding: $1458.67 Contact: Delwynne Simon (09) 435 0019

Project details: ECA contributes to the creation of a sensory garden. This is a starting point in a journey moving towards the vision of becoming a sustainable school.

19. Umawera School. Project: Nasty Noises, Fabulous Nifty Natives

Funding: $1600 Contact: Christine Gilmore (09) 401 8806

Project details: ECA contributes to further strengthening of a successful school boundary native planting border aimed at cutting down on traffic noise from State Highway One adjacent to the school.

20. Whangarei Primary School. Project: Garden Shed to Store Garden Equipment

Funding: $600 Contact: Donna Walker (09) 438 3186

Project details: ECA contributes to the purchase of a garden shed as part of a developing garden programme. It's hoped that the vegetable gardening skills involved in this project will transfer to students' homes so families are encouraged to do the same.

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