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Enviroschools all over the Bay of Plenty are buzzing following recent events such as the Youth Jam, Early Childhood Conference and reflection workshops. Read more about these below...

Fairview Park Kindergarten becomes a Bronze Enviroschool



Enviroschools Expo

Te Puke hosts fun-filled extravaganza


On Wednesday March 1st, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Community Engagement team, in conjunction with Tauranga City Council welcomed year 5 and 6 students from across the region to an Enviroschools Expo in Te Puke.

The expo’s focus was exploring the Enviroschools programme’s theme areas with the students and their teachers through interactive activities, problem solving and educational play. The students rotated through that were hands-on and designed for the students to take their learnings and ideas back to school to implement sustainable projects in their school and wider communities.

To explore Living Landscapes students participated in a vision mapping exercise, adding pictures, words, ideas and inspiration to huge aerial view maps of their schools, provided by BOPRC’s GIS team. The students loved seeing a ‘real’ picture of their school and added ideas such as native tree walks, food forests and bird feeders for trees.

With Zero Waste in mind, two separate activities focused on reducing,m reusing and recycling. We held a Waste Speed Dating game using resources from the newly updated theme area, and also had a workshop on creating waste-free, or ‘nude’ lunches. 10 students from the day took home Nude lunchboxes as a prize for their hard work and engagement at the Expo.

For the Water of Life theme, we ran two bingo/matching games; one focused on reducing water wastage and illustrating just how much water we can save each day, and the other was taken from the Enviroschools kit Ngā Momo Wai activity, matching maori terms and definitions for different types of water. We also welcomed The Great Drain Game from Tauranga City Council, which took students through a journey of where our wastewater goes.

Exploring Ecological Buildings was a super fun and interactive activity in designing and constructing an Eco Hut entirely from natural or recycled materials. At the end of the day the students had built an incredible structure including insulation, a rainwater catchment device, and even a beautiful woven harakeke floor mat! We were blown away by the creativity and resourcefulness demonstrated.

One of the most popular activity stations of the day was our Bike Blender, where students explored renenwable and non-renewable energy sources, then put their own energy to the test by pedalling as hard as they could to whip up a healthy fruit smoothie.

Feedback at the end of the day was overwhelmingly positive from both teachers and students, who eagerly shared their learnings, such as limiting their shower time to save water, what a ‘nude’ or waste-free lunchbox looks like, and how they were going to share their ideas on a vision map and create an action plan for projects when they returned to school. Teachers were also provided with take-home resources around sustainability themes. Teacher Rachel McKay of Pongakawa School said that “the vision map of our school is a fantastic resource that we can share with our whole school to plan our next steps as an Enviroschool.” Eco Hut Challenge activity facilitator Kerry Gosling was “blown away by the creativity and problem solving” demonstrated by the students who created a tepee-shaped structure that included insulation and a rainwater saving tank.

Fairview Park Does the Hot Potato!

The children at Fairview Park Kindergarten in Rotorua grew lots of lovely potatoes this spring and celebrated by cooking these on an open fire as hot chips! Everyone loved these and they were delicious.The children loved digging them up and it became like a treasure hunt for potatoes.

It was great to see everyone experience the produce that was grown in the kindy garden and learn how if you plant food you can cook it and eat it to feed and look after yourselves from a very small area of soil. This is one of the best ways we can look after our growing bodies by feeding it with healthy nutritional food that will help us grow big and strong. It will also help our planet by knowing how to grow our own food so when we are bigger we know how to care for ourselves and others and use our space on our planet so  there is enough for all.

November 2016

Supporting Matawai School as they Reflect on Green Gold

One of our close neighbours, Matawai School, invited the team from Bay of Plenty to participate in their wonderful Green-Gold reflection in November. What a beautiful day of sharing, community and showcasing their commitment to sustainability! We were blown away by the whole-school commitment to the Enviroschools kaupapa, and the clear involvement of school families and the wider community on this journey.

It was a pleasure to see the mayor attend the reflection as well. At the celebration we were able to see Matawai students show off their beautiful school, including a wonderful healthy kai cooked by students using produce from the school garden! A big congratulations to Matawai – a Green-Gold Enviroschool!

November 2016

Greerton Village Kindergarten Continues their Enviroschools Journey

What a pleasure it was to be a part of Greerton Village Kindergarten’s Silver reflection and celebration in Term 4! All of the students, parents, teachers and volunteers have been working tirelessly to embed the Enviroschools principles into their everyday learning, and the result is a happy, healthy, sustainable kindy!

The reflection day included a healthy shared kai and a wonderful tour of the kindy’s gardens, recycling initiatives, bird-friendly tree and natural play spaces. It was exciting to hear that Greerton already have a vision to continue their journey towards Green-Gold and are brainstorming their next steps – ka pai tō mahi!