Glenorchy Primary were one of the country's first pilot Enviroschools. Since signing up in 2001 they have been fully committed to the programme ever since. Sitting at the head of Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy is a small rural township where its residents understand how important it is to lead a sustainable as possible life.
We have been building up to the Green-Gold reflection for a while and in term 4 the day finally rolled around. Just to add a few extras into the day, we were joined by a group of students from an international school based in Hong Kong, who were touring New Zealand gaining valuable cultural insights into the way of living here. They really wanted to check out a school who were living and breathing sustainability. We were also joined by our MP for Clutha-Southland, Todd Barclay.
After a very impressive mihi whakatau, we heard from the students about their journey towards sustainability, giving us an insight into some of the things we would see on our tour of school. The students took the tour in their stride, it was obvious that this really was a way of life for them and they are so proud of everything they do at school.
Their gardens are extensive, transforming the school grounds into a bright and vibrant outdoor learning environment. One of the parents has been leading the way with their edible gardens which are ever expanding, utilising a poly tunnel, worm farms, compost systems and chickens to grow food to be primarily eaten by students. Any surplus is either sold or given away to community members. Two more parents and owners of Wildlight Safaris, have been leading a native restoration projects. The students harvest seeds from local natives and then cultivate them back at school in another poly tunnel. As they nurture these seedlings, they progress into the nursery until they are ready to be planted along the boardwalk, an area of town that these young people have transformed forever more.
Some of the other notable actions are the memorial sensory garden at the school entrance to commemorate two students, various signs along their fence line telling the story of Glenorchy for the many tourist to view as well as offering a place to do some eco-activism around the proposed tunnel and also the G-Wai giant painted onto the playground.
It was a pretty straightforward decision for the reflection team to confirm that Glenorchy Primary are indeed a Green-Gold Enviroschool. Congratulations to you all !!