Raumati South School wins Enviroschools award

Raumati South School Celebrates

By Nicola Easthope
Oct 2010

Nichola Easthope presenting Bronze award

The mood was upbeat and dress code distinctly green at Raumati South School’s ‘Enviroschools assembly’ at the end of last term. I was honoured to present the school with a Bronze Award, on behalf of the Enviroschools Foundation. An Enviroschools Bronze Award acknowledges schools that have laid the foundations for a sustainability journey. In the case of Raumati South School this involves more than two years’ learning and action for sustainability.

At the full school assembly, hosted by student members of the ‘Go Green’ group, a video and slide show presentation outlined the journey the children and staff have begun in order to create a sustainable learning and living environment.
The raised vegetable garden beds developed at the back of the school, complete with composting and worm farming systems, “are the most wonderful I have seen in a school yet”, says Karyn Burgess, Wellington Region Enviroschools Coordinator. Diane Turner, teacher aide and founder of the ‘Go Green’ group, oversees the garden. “Each class has a designated plot, and many children spend their lunchtimes working in the garden. They enjoy eating the produce on site, or turn it into soups, salads and pizzas in our communal cooking sessions.”

Children`s raised gardens

Every classroom of students, as well as teachers and parents, has worked together to create a native bush walk linking four locations around the school. A variety of native species, suitable for the Kapiti bioregion, have been planted over the last two years, with support from the Kapiti Mana branch of Forest and Bird.

Hill planting

Several classes have also participated in restoration planting in Queen Elizabeth Park, along the Wharemauku Stream, and most recently, the historic wetland off Poplar Avenue.
The school now plans to improve its waste management through reducing and recycling waste, eventually becoming a Zero Waste school. Other goals, on top of maintaining their gardens and bushwalk, include “regular community and beach clean-ups, car-free days, and further studies on local wetlands and waterways”, says teacher Michael Stewart.

Kapiti Mayor, Jenny Rowan, paid tribute to the work the students and teachers have done within the school grounds and the wider community.

Kia ora to Raumati South School staff for really listening to and supporting your students’ initiatives for sustainability! Kia ora to the Go Green group and all the students who have done so much to transform your school!

Children holding lettuces and bottled worm pee!

Thanks also to the Kapiti Coast District Council for supporting the Enviroschools Programme on the Kapiti Coast. We currently have five schools and pre-schools involved, and have the capacity to sign on two-three more!

For more information about joining the programme, please contact local facilitator Nicola Easthope, nic.e@paradise.net.nz Also check out www.enviroschools.org.nz