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RAS makes a Treemendous effort

Reefton Area School Enviro Rangers

Check out below what RAS have been busy learning:

RAS Enviro Rangers

West Coast Enviroschools Envirogroup Action Day 2017

On Thursday the 25th of May, the first ever West Coast Enviroschools Envirogroup Action Day was held at the Conservation Volunteers NZ (CVNZ) site in Barrytown.There were over 80 participants, including the envirogroups, teachers, and parents from 7 West Coast Enviroschools.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) second year outdoor education students and CVNZ staff conducted activities to biodiversity theme for the day. While planting over 520 native trees, children learnt the skills necessary to propagate, plant, and look after native plantings. TPP students ran experiential activities in three different eco-zones - the nikau scenic reserve, a wetland, and a coastal area. 
West Coast Enviroschools Regional Coordinator Zoe Watson said, “The day was a tremendous success. All it was a long day for the students, they were extremely motivated and attentive throughout the day. We reflected on what they had learnt at the end of the day and the range and depth of ideas they have for increasing biodiversity back in their schools and communities is really exciting.

Hokitika Primary Teacher Andrea Peters said, “The kids are bursting to share their new learning with classes and this will help to inspire the rest of our school community too.”

Reefton Area School student, Luka Didham said, “I learnt that its really up to us to make a difference, we can’t sit round waiting for someone else to make it happen.”

Busy Bees at Reefton Early Learning Centre

At Reefton Early Learning Centre, bees are a favourite and frequent visitor and the Centre is keen to make them more welcome. The children have taken the Worms Eye View activity, and made it into a Bees Eye View, so they can learn more about bees and see things from a ‘bee perspective’. 

Now that students have discovered what bees like, they know what bees need to survive and thrive! This activity provoked a great discussion, with children reaching the conclusion that although
the garden plantings are already bee friendly and chemical free, more gardens 'just for bees' would be better. They are also participating in the National Bee Count Survey and being visited by local beekeepers.

This project has had some great flow on effect, with children engaging with their whanau, sharing their knowledge, and creating bee friendly spaces at home.

 September 2016

Waddle you do for Blue Penguins?

The West Coast Penguin Trust guided their third group of teachers through the Trust’s educational resource and some of the activities at Hokitika Primary School in September 2016. The resource is modelled on the Enviroschools Action Learning Cycle and supports schools to take action for blue penguins.

To break the ice, attendees had to draw a penguin with pencil and paper on their head!  Almost impossible to do and a great ice breaker - keep it up your sleeve!

The feedback from the workshop was very positive and included "This was all very relevant to our school. Thank you!" and "What a fantastic resource for use in our centres and schools".

Thank you to the participants who gave up time to come along and we look forward to hearing about the penguin and seabird activities you do with the children in your care. If you haven’t seen the resource yet and would like to use it with children you teach or lead, you can download it from the Trust’s website www.bluepenguin.org.nz/ , or email info@bluepenguin.org.nz to request a hard copy.

The Nappy Lady Waste-Free Parenting Workshop

The Nappy Lady, aka Kate Meads, presented a waste free parenting workshop to a packed out audience at WestREAP Hokitika in September 2016. 28 people attended Kate Meads’ workshop subsidised by the Westland District Council and supported by WestREAP and Enviroschools.

The humorous, entertaining and inspirational seminar was full of tips and ideas around ways to minimise waste at home especially with children in the home. Kate said that when she had her first child her households rubbish increased from two bags a week to an entire wheelie bin. She talked from her experience of going from what she called herself - a master waste producer to now being a more conscious consumer.

Attendees learnt lots of ways to reduce waste at home, ways to save money, modern waste minimising household products, and the impact their choices will have on future generations. They also received a cloth nappy pack valued at $100. 

Event organiser, Enviroschools Coordinator Zoe Watson, said it was exciting to have so many families from Hokitika along to the workshop. “Parents came up to me afterwards with ideas around not only creating less waste at home, but supporting their centres and schools to create less waste too, like using less packaging in lunch boxes and making yogurt at home”.

See the poster here


Buller Envirogroup Action day 2015

Thirty students and the lead teachers from the Buller Enviroschools Cluster took part in the first West Coast Envirogroup Action Day. Students rotated around three activities focused on waste minimisation and biodiversity: YMCA meals (Yesterday’s Meals Cooked Again) with Carol Up from Westport North School’s Garden Warriors; Tree Planting/How nature biodegrades with Paul Comesky and Nick Moody from DOC; and Litter-less Lunch-boxes with Jade Winter from Community Public Health. The afternoon was spent brainstorming ways to take action on what they’d learnt once back at school. Feedback was positive and we hope to make this an annual event.



Photos from left to right; Getting stuck in planting trees, making beeswax and whipping up fritattas 

Drum Roll Please…Bronze for Kaniere in 2015!

Kaniere School are the first West Coast Enviroschool to reach the bronze stage of the Enviroschools journey. They celebrated this milestone with the whole school planting native trees. Kaniere School has been focussing on sharing their learning with the community. Recently members of the Envirogroup conducted a waste audit at WestREAP, putting forward recommendations to help the organisation towards minimising their waste. Ka rawe Kaniere!

Kaniere Envirogroup with their Bronze certificate

Kaniere School taking action for marine life

Enviroschool students and teachers installed the first of about 100 fish, donated by Eco Blue fish, on drains around the the school and Kaniere Tram. Council and pupils of Kaniere school have been working on a project to make permanent fixtures of fish around the school as a way to protect marine life.