Sustainable Schools Showcased

Ridgelands State School - Front Cover (Kitchen Garden).jpg

Schools across the Rockhampton Region were publicly praised for their sustainability efforts on Saturday at Tropicana, held over the weekend at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

14 different schools won awards as part of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Sustainability in Action Schools Calendar Competition.

Council’s Environment Spokesperson, Councillor Drew Wickerson, said this year was even harder to judge than the last.

“We started this competition in 2018 and were overwhelmed with the response. This year it was even better!

“The competition is all about showcasing how local schools are taking on global issues with practical and sustainable actions, and there really is some inspirational work going on in our community.

“From minimising food waste, recycling right, caring for our catchments and tending to vegetable gardens, our local school students are setting some great examples that we could all learn from when it comes to environmental sustainability.

“The winning schools and their sustainability projects will feature in Council’s ‘Sustainability in Action’ 2020 Community Calendar, which will be out in the community from November. The calendars are a great way to help share the sustainability message and encourage our community with the good environmental work teachers and students are doing all year round.

“I want to say a huge well done and thank you to every school that entered, and I can’t wait to see what fantastic initiatives we will be celebrating this time next year!”

Winning schools are recognised as Rockhampton Regional Council’s 2020 Sustainability Champions. They each win $200 to support future sustainability actions within their school, as well as a raised garden bed, compost tumbler or worm farm for their school.

You can see all the winning photos here.

2020 Sustainability Champions:

Ridgelands State School – Front cover:

Scarlet the Scarecrow and friends – “We enjoy encouraging wildlife to our school and have provided a great home for insects. Our insect hotel and butterfly watering station help invite insects to our garden and our scarecrow helps keep the birds away from our seedlings”.

Marmor State School – Minimising food waste (January):

Reaping the rewards of the harvest – “We are learning how to grow, harvest and cook the food we have grown. We picked the tomatoes because they were ripe. We ate some with cheese and crackers for 2nd break. We like growing our own veggies.”

Waraburra State School – Caring for our catchments (February):

Look at the beautifully coloured in artworks from Waraburra State School students. Students are showing their artworks about keeping our catchments clean next to a large stormwater drain in their school. These artworks highlight the connection from drain to catchment and some of the many native species that live in our local catchments including platypus, barramundi and our very own ‘bum breathing’ Fitzroy River Turtle to name a few.

The Cathedral College – Energy efficiency and power savings (March):

Harnessing renewable energy – Cathedral College students say “The Tesla battery harnesses the sun’s energy during the day and supplies the majority of the power required at the boy’s boarding facility during the evening.” The battery provides us with a continuous supply of natural energy to reduce the cost of power for the running of our Boarding House. The photo captures some of the ways that this solar energy is used.

The Hall State School – Growing your own fruit and vegetables (April):

From little things, big things grow! “At The Hall State School we have a community fruit, vegetable and herb garden planted by students and community partners. We grow fruit and veggies like corn, tomatoes and bananas. We have a hydroponics system growing lettuce which we supply to our tuckshop and make our own jam from the rosella plants. We also collect our food scraps and use compost bins and worm farms to turn it into compost and put it back into the gardens”.

The Rockhampton Grammar School – Composting and worm farms (May):

Compost is a hot spot! “The composting of shredded paper, scraps of food, garden clippings and chicken manure has made soil that we use in our garden. We are throwing away less food waste and by composting it the soil is great quality”.

Emmaus College – Reducing single use plastic (June):

Avoiding plastic packaging – Emmaus College grows vegepod herbs for the Hospitality and Home Economics classes to use in place of packaged, perishable options. Students say “Growing our own herbs reduces purchasing plastic packaged ingredients from the shop.”

Frenchville State School – Planting native plants (July):

Bush food garden – As part of Frenchville State School’s First Australians Unit, students gained greater insight into the traditional bush food within our local area. This photo is of a beach cherry tree planted in the bush food garden. Students say “It is important to understand where food comes from and how people lived before shops existed.”

Heights College – Reusing and upcycling materials (August):

Reusable building blocks – Year 1 students enjoyed building their very own cubby house by re-using cardboard boxes from school deliveries. Teachers say “We asked around to collect enough boxes which were then organised and painted to construct a brand new space for creative play. Students have also had fun by re-using postal tubes and milk containers and filling them with rice/stones to create percussion instruments during their science lessons.”

St Mary’s Primary School – Encouraging wildlife and wildlife habitat (September):

Our environment is important – St Mary’s students say “We are watering our plants so they can grow and drop seeds which will grow more plants. Plants create more oxygen which makes it easier for us to breathe and also provides a home for bugs to live. The bugs then feed bigger animals and then those bigger animals help feed us. That’s why you should water and care for the environment around you.”

Bajool State School – Water use and water efficiency (October):

Water is a precious resource – Students say “At Bajool State School, we learn about the importance of water and how to use it wisely. We water the harvest garden using watering cans to ensure the plants get a good drink each time. The gardens are also mulched regularly and the worms fed daily to help keep the soil healthy.”

St Joseph’s Primary School – Recycling right with yellow lid bins (November):

Recycling heroes halve their waste – Year 4 students started a rubbish separation program (with mini bins from the P&F) and have cut their waste to landfill by half. The recycling bins from around the school are collected each Friday and the general waste bins are checked for items that could be recycled instead. St Joseph’s students say “We need to reuse and recycle our paper products to save our forests. If we don’t look after the Earth now, we won’t have all these resources when we are adults.”

St Paul’s Primary School – Green gift giving and ecofriendly festive decorations (December):

Green gift creations – St Paul’s students created gifts using recycled materials and then sold them during lunch times to raise money for Caritas Australia. St Paul’s students say “It is important because we reused items and raised money for countries in need. This is reducing waste and is also a very fun activity”.

Berserker State School – Back cover:

Berserker State School presented some beautifully coloured in artworks focused on keeping our catchments clean. These artworks highlight some of the many native species that live in our local catchments including platypus, barramundi and our very own ‘bum breathing’ Fitzroy River Turtle to name a few.

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