Monday, August 31, 2009

Sustainable Schools

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the annual WACSSO (Western Australian Council of State School Organisations) conference. We were privileged to hear from many excellent keynote speakers but the ones that stood out to me were those from Sustainable Schools. Environmentally two schools stood out a mile with their innovative and environmental focus to schooling.
Australind Senior High School used a vacant piece of grass and transformed it into an Earth Garden complete with chickens, worm farms and outside classroom. Senior students completed brick laying courses at the local TAFE to built the raised garden beds and students from the Home Economics rooms located next door harvest and cook with the produce. Really what could be better,
Harmony Primary School in Atwell, a school close to my heart, has recently increased their growing space with the addition of 7 aquaponics grow beds with 150 Rainbow Trout in the winter and barramundi in the Summer.
These students are responsible for maintenance, promoting and selling of their harvest and livestock. They are also a WA pilot school for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Gardens Scheme.

I also heard stories from around my table of other schools that are on this sustainable path.
What a fabulous resource for our children. This truly is the future and hopefully these children take their skills home and plant in their own garden and inspire their parents.

As Richard Joyce from Friends of the Earth said " It is too late to leave it up to our children, that was thirty years ago.We need to be making the changes for them."

An inspiring weekend and one that has increased my desire to see this happen at my own school.

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