More than 80 students empowered to improve the environment have attended an Enviroschools event at Pukorokoro-Miranda Shorebird Centre.
Pupils travelled with their teachers from eight Waikato schools to take part in the September event, where they learned about the likes of biodiversity, animal pests and waste minimisation.
“This event was about children being 'Catalysts for Change' when it comes to environmental care,” said Waikato Regional Council's schools programme coordinator Ruairi Kelly.
“It was really exciting to hear pupils present to other schools around the actions they’d been undertaking in their communities to improve the environment – things such as large-scale litter pick-ups and trapping animal pests to protect native species.
“For the event, we also worked with schools, community groups, business and council staff to deliver activities focused on the Enviroschools guiding principles of 'learning for sustainability', 'empowering students', 'sustainable communities' and 'Maori perspectives'.
“It involved pupils learning many new things, being inspired to find out more and identifying actions they can use when back at school or at home.”
Pupils talked about how much they enjoyed activities such as learning about the migration of native shorebirds, pest control and native lizards, minimising waste by creating reusable bags, and hunting for insects.
“The enthusiasm of these pupils bodes well for the care of our regional environment in future,” says Ruairi.
The schools involved at Pukorokoro-Miranda included:
- Thames-Coromandel: Coromandel Area School, St Francis
- Hauraki: Netherton, Paeroa Central, Waihi Central
- Waikato district: Te Kauwhata, Horsham Downs
- Hamilton: Nawton.
Another two Enviroschools events were held in September – more than 50 pupils from six schools attended the celebration in Taupo, with over 200 from 22 schools turning up to the event at Karapiro.