Yawarra Primary is a small school in Boronia which features remnant trees combined with planted natives. It represents habitat for birds, bats, insects and possums.
In 2011, Yawarra Primary School began their journey in developing more sustainable practices with the assistance of a CERES facilitator. We began this journey with a Professional Learning Day at Healesville, Whole Staff initial overview of module with facilitator, School Ground Biodiversity Audit with the assistance of Greening Australia and finally devising a specific action plan to enhance the school’s overall biodiversity. This action plan was created with the aid of the 30 children who assisted with assessing areas of the school’s biodiversity and establishing areas of improvement.
These actions assisted us in developing a whole school policy which was approved by school council and assisted us in setting goals for the delivery of environmental learning across the school, focussed on the management of resources using SETS to track and compare usage of water, electricity, gas, waste and running various projects involving the whole school community.
Yawarra Primary has been fortunate to have the delivery of a weekly Environmental specialist subject weekly across all grade levels which has assisted to set the groundwork for future initiatives and learn about the values of natural areas and how to protect and preserve them.
Many of our succeses have included: daily composting, Garden Gurus, waste free days and challenges, cooking with produce, Tree Planting Day, Seed-Raising Day, MP assisting with planting, allocated garden beds, weeding days and incorporating art into garden with scarecrow and 3D Garden sculpture etc
Each grade is responsible for weeding and caring for a garden bed whilst the student enviro-leaders called the Garden Gurus assist with collecting compost from all grades and later using it to fertilise and enrich our vegie patch. The Garden Gurus and classes have explored alternative ways to deter unwanted pests through companion planting, picking bugs off, empty orange traps, using fallen leaves as mulch and creating natural solutions to act as deterents.
In our courtyard we collected many fallen logs and created ramps to hopefully attract local lizards and carefully selected and planted indigenous plant stock which are well adapted to the soil and conditions of our school with the assistance of Knox Environmental Society. Plants that attract insects and birds were selected and planted to attract small birds, create dense pockets and barriers for the local fauna and to stop erosion of soil.
We look forward to continuing our journey discovering new ways we can make a difference and have a minimal impact on our land through continuing with our initiatives and together with the help of our Environmental leaders and school community look for new and better ways we can become more GREEN!