By: Kirsty Wynn
Kiwi kids are leading the way to sustainability with plans for chicken coops, beehives, Māori medicinal herbs and veggie gardens in schools around the country.
Thirty schools across New Zealand have been awarded a share of $25,000 to help kick-start their planet-friendly projects thanks to Countdown supermarket.
Two boys from Waitoki Primary School, near Silverdale, impressed selectors with their plans for a chicken coop at their rural school.
Year 8 students Damian Traill, 12, and Cameron Reardon, 13, spent four weeks researching, costing and planning the coop.
“They were so thrilled when they heard they had been successful and we had the funds to go ahead with it,” teacher Linda Westbrooke said.
“They learned so many new skills filling in the forms, researching council laws and planning the area of the chicken coop,”
The boys knew the coop had to be safe for the chickens and easy for children to clean and collect eggs.
“We also have a beautiful vegetable garden here so the learning will be ongoing and eggs will be part of the garden to table programme,” Westbrooke said.
The school also has a community shelf where excess produce could be placed for school families to enjoy.
The young conservationists, gardeners and environmental champions applied for funding from the supermarket through its Growing for Good programme.
Other Growing for Good initiatives included installation of beehives with plans to use beeswax to make reusable lunch wraps, planting veggie gardens with traditional Māori plants for medicinal purposes and installing a rainwater tank for an existing veggie patch.
Countdown general manager of corporate affairs and sustainability Kiri Hannifin said the company was blown away by the huge number of applications it received from schools across New Zealand.
“We were so impressed by the creative ideas demonstrated in this first round of Growing for Good applications,” Hannifin said.
“It’s fantastic to see our young tamariki and their schools so passionately engaged with weaving environmentalism and sustainability into everyday learning.”
Source: NZ Herald