Two local schools in the NACC NRM Region were acknowledged for making positive environmental changes in their schools during the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council’s 2017 Regional NRM Leadership Awards.
The aim of these Awards – presented recently at the Central Regional TAFE in Geraldton – is to recognise outstanding Natural Resource Management (NRM) leadership by groups and individuals in the NACC region. Among the award categories are the Green School Awards, which were held for the first time in 2015 to celebrate Landcare’s 25th anniversary.
In recognition of their outstanding efforts over the past year, the Leaning Tree Community School was named the winner of the 2017 Green Primary School Award, and was presented with a certificate and unique hand-made trophy created using traditional Aboriginal methods by Badimia man Vaughan Lane and Wilinyu woman Donna Ronan. The school was recognised for their innovative actions to protect the environment through reducing environmental impact, raising environmental awareness, and providing students with opportunities to undertake on-ground environmental works within the community and across the region.
Nagle Catholic College took-out the Green Senior Secondary School Award in recognition of their exceptional environmental activities and achievements over the past year. Nagle students have worked on a number of innovative recycling projects and held outdoor environmental activities such as tree-planting at the Chapman River, and an annual student excursion to study the Rabbit Proof Fence, and local farming and cultural areas in the region.
NACC’s Regional Landcare Facilitator Stanley Yokwe congratulated all of the local schools who were finalists in the 2017 awards. These included:
- Chapman Valley Primary School
- Cervantes Primary School
- Dongara District High School
- Geraldton Grammar School
- John Wilcock College.
It was a tough task for the judges,” said Stanley. “Because there were many schools in the region doing amazing environmental activities this year.
“The Green School Awards aim to recognise these schools and their students, and encourage them to enhance environmental awareness and activity, and to provide schools and students with an opportunity to share their great green projects and stories,” he said.
Leaning Tree Community School Education Manager Lara Sampson said the school was honoured to receive this year’s Green Primary School Award.
“Our school has a very strong commitment to sustainability, and has actively engaged students and teachers in community-based sustainability projects, helping to make positive changes to the environment,” Ms Sampson said.
“Our Spring Fair is just one example. The whole school community put on this fundraising event, while demonstrating how sustainability can remain at the core of any community event. We are really looking forward to strengthening our commitment to the environment in the future, and to continuing to make a real difference to improve the health of our local area.”
Stephanie Cremin of Nagle Catholic College said she was delighted to receive the Green Senior Secondary award on behalf of the college.
“Our school has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment, and for many years the college has taken students out to undertake conservation activities in the community aimed at making a real change,” she said.
“Nagle College has also been involved in a number of innovative recycling activities and outdoor education classes which encourage students to ‘leave no trace’. For example, we discuss the impact of camping in remote places, and the traces often left behind, and encourage a minimum impact attitude to camping and moving around our wonderful natural environment.”
Green Schools Awards Fast Facts
- Over the past five years, NACC has supported more than 32 schools across the Northern Agricultural Region under the Regional Landcare Facilitator program.
- In that time, more than 1,000 students, teachers, and Parents and Citizen Groups have taken part in NACC-funded school activities – such as sustainable school gardens, worms and compost projects, bush tucker planting, recycling projects, student immersions and excursions to cultural and environment rehabilitation sites, and biodiversity-conservation activities in the region.
- More than 15 local schools have participated in NACC’s Green School Awards in the last three years.
The Green School Awards – awarded annually under NACC’s Regional NRM Leadership Awards – are funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme as part of the Regional Landcare Facilitator project.