Local School Supports Sustainability
Sustainable living practices have become a focus for learning at Leonay Public School, with the addition of a new garden area complete with worm farms, indigenous edible plants and an outdoor classroom. Initiated as a student welfare project aiming to provide students with more activities that appeal to their interest, it soon became much more.
The Sustainability Area features a bush tucker garden which is maintained by all classes at the school. Leonay Public School’s Aboriginal Education Coordinator, Mrs Natalie Devine, said “We are always looking for ways to engage our students in learning about Aboriginal culture and increasing their connection to the school. This was a perfect way to do it”.
At present, local Aboriginal artists Trevor Edwards and Jason Douglas from Dalmarri are developing plans for working with students to paint designs on totem poles to be installed in the garden area.
One other key aspect that evolved throughout the project was engaging more parents and community groups with the school. Project leader, Mr Adrian Davies, has worked alongside several local businesses and families to landscape and irrigate the area. “The number of parents who have given up their time on weekends and after school to make this happen has been amazing. It has provided an opportunity for many of them to contribute to the school when they may have not felt comfortable to in other ways” he explained.
Father of two Leonay Public School students, Daniel Clarke, was one of these parents who spent countless hours coordinating and working on the project using his skills as a landscaper and horticulturist. He said, “It has been a nice way for parents to use their skills in contributing to the school while also doing something that benefits our kids”.
The project was largely funded by a grant from Reece Plumbing, which allowed for the area to be fully irrigated from a 1,200L rainwater tank. Students at the school are now learning about being water wise and how to reduce landfill by saving their food scraps and feeding them to the worms. Relieving School Principal, Miss Christine Payne, said “We need to equip our students with an understanding of how their choices directly impact the environment. We will continue to build and develop more garden and sustainability practices at Leonay Public School”.