Environment Education Programs
This section contains information on both the Community Environmental Education Programs and the School Environmental Education Programs.
Community Environmental Education (CEE) Programs
The CEE programs involve community members in learning about environmental issues through a range of formal and informal methods. The programs seek and actively encourage community dialogue and interaction to achieve positive environmental outcomes at a local level. All CEE programs aim to help develop a more sustainable community. The programs are informed by the Education for Sustainability Strategy 2010-2012.
Education for Sustainability
Education for Sustainability Strategy 2010-2012 is the Hills Shire Council’s Education for Sustainability (EfS) Strategy. The Hills Shire Council’s Education for Sustainability (EfS) Strategy has been developed to provide a unified approach for the environmental education activities undertaken by The Hills Shire Council.
Business Sustainability - Improve efficiency and reduce costs for your business.
Home Sustainability - Fact sheets exploring how to save power and money at home.
Goals of the Strategy
- Present a clear vision for EfS within council
- Provide a coordinated and strategic approach for EfS
- Guide the design and delivery of EfS initiatives
- Provide improved communication of Councils EfS commitment
- Provide a proactive approach for environmental education
- Demonstrate a commitment to partner the community, other agencies and educational institutions within the Shire to achieve environmental outcomes
- Support the vision and strategies outlined in Hills 2026
- Help the shire achieve its requirements under the NSW Environmental Education Plan 2007-2010
- Support NSW State Education Department sustainable schools initiatives
Mission of the Strategy
To engage the local community in sustainability through education and lifelong learning.
“All residents have the awareness, knowledge, skills, values and motivation to live sustainably and are able to act on these to bring about a sustainable community”
Key Strategy Outcomes
- Demonstrate leadership in promoting sustainability
- Promote active community involvement in creating a sustainable future
- Work in partnerships, especially with the education sector, to deliver education programs
- Enhance the cross co-ordination and development of EfS programs
- Service target audiences more effectively
- Provide access to high quality environmental education (EE) programs
Environmental Workshops and Events Program
The Living Sustainably and Bushcare Workshop Series’ consists of a series of workshops conducted throughout the year at the Community Environment Centre, the Community Nursery or other council facilities. The Living Sustainably and Bushcare Workshop Series is promoted as part of the Environmental Workshops and Events program. The topics covered in this program of workshops cover a broad spectrum of environmental issues ranging from illegal landclearing to reducing carbon emissions. The topics are decided in consultation with the community and are influenced by current environmental concerns. Council also offer and support a number of environmental events through this program.
Environmental Events & Workshops Information 2012
Living Sustainably Workshop Series Spring 2012 (1.22MB)
Grant Projects and Education Programs
The Health and Sustainability team are responsible for securing numerous NSW State government grants. This money is utilised to fund projects delivered to the community by council. These projects often have an educational component. The educational component could involve a community awareness event, such as the recent Water Saving event at the Waves Facility or involve the development of environmental guidelines to provide community advice. For example the council has provided community education programs based on Air Quality and provided guidelines on the issue of Solid Fuel Home Heaters; Workshops and Fact sheets on the issue of landclearing; and Sediment and Erosion Control brochures. A series of workshops on energy saving called the Sustainable Home Workshops.
Information on Solid Fuel Heaters
Reporting Program (State of the Environment Report)
Council provides an annual summary of the activities of government, industry and the community in protecting and restoring the environment, known as the Statement of the Environment Report.
Community Environment Centre and Volunteering Program
The Community Environment Centre (CEC) at Annangrove Park is an important community resource. The CEC provides an important venue for the Living Sustainably Workshop Series; houses an environmental library; stocks environmental brochures and fact sheets; staff can provide information on current NSW and Federal grants and offers to households and businesses and field questions and inquiries from members of the community.
A volunteer program operates from the CEC with participants engaged in a range of activities; a volunteer program also operates out of the Community Nursery. For more detail visit our volunteers page.
Education and Training Program
Education and Training have been provided in conjunction with some projects. Council has funded the training of community members in the use of Pindone and 1080 as part of a baiting program to significantly reduce the negative impacts of rabbits and foxes in the Shire. A number of training workshops were delivered by qualified staff members from the Livestock and Health Authority and were well received by the residents attending these workshops.
A Public Facilities Grant, associated with a water and energy savings project, was awarded to council by DECCW. The grant included the training of community members to deliver workshops as part of the project. A training package was developed and delivered by council’s environmental education officer. This training package enabled the participants to acquire the knowledge and skills required to deliver environmental workshops. The certification for this training depended on the level of outcomes achieved by each member.
Business Community Programs
Council provides assistance and information to local business to improve their sustainability through a variety of programs and initiatives:
- Participation in water saving program
- Participation in energy saving program
- Assistance with volunteer program
- Provision of environmental grants to schools
- Support programs for corporate environmental events e.g. Woolworths Day
- Participation in waste days e.g. Mobile Muster and E Waste collection
- Participation in planting days e.g. National Tree Day
- Partnerships with Integral Energy, Sydney Water and other relevant service providers
Council’s partnerships with other agencies have included community education components via community displays at local shopping centres and corporate facilities; the development of educational resources; environmental competitions and quizzes; community giveaways.
A Sustainable World in the Hills
This program is based on council working with local businesses to save water, energy and waste. For more detail refer to the Business Sustainability link under the Environmental Management tab.
Council provides educational material in a variety of forms and uses a number of methods to communicate this information. Much of this material has an environmental education focus:
- Fact sheets/ brochures
- Display materials
- Sustainable promotional product giveaways
- Press advertising and media releases
- Hills Focus and Newsletters
- Council website
- Sustainability resources at CEC
- Provision of resources for community projects
School Environmental Education Programs
The Hills Shire Council’s Sustainability team, in conjunction with the Waste team, provides Environmental Education (EE) programs and support for the more than 70 schools and colleges in and bordering the Hills Shire. The following links provide details on the EE programs and support available:
There are also a number of centres offering environmental education programs, material and or activities in the Shire. These include Brewongle Environmental Education Centre, Bidjiwong Community Nursery, Glenorie Arts and Environment Centre and the Community Environment Centre, Annangrove.
Schools Green Network
This is a network of teachers, parents and other educators who are interested in encouraging environmental education in our local schools. Council supports and facilitates the network by:
- Organising regular meetings
- Providing alerts on new resources and programs
- Sponsoring grant applications and partnering with schools
- Providing updates on funding
- Supporting NSW Sustainable Schools initiatives
- Encouraging local businesses to provide environmental grants
If you are interested in joining the network please contact the council’s Environmental Education officer or Waste Education officer.
School Education Programs
Council recognises the importance of working with local schools regarding environmental initiatives and education. There are a range of opportunities provided by Council for schools to access environmental education services and resources. This includes: school visits from Council officers and organizations, such as Keep Australia Beautiful, on various environmental topics; supplying materials for environmental events like Clean up Australia, Earth Hour and biodiversity Week. For further information or to discuss your specific needs contact Council’s Waste or Sustainability Education Officers.
Council Environment Days for Schools
“A jam packed day full of fun environmental activities and presentations for students and teachers.”
The Council Environment Day program offers a chance for local schools to participate in environmental education activities in an outdoor location in one of many the shires local parks and reserves.
This is a full day program of presentations and displays from a wide cross section of environmental organisations including:
- Taronga Zoo with their zoo mobile that brings the animals to you
- Sydney Metro Wildlife with their animal rescue display
- Forests NSW (I&I) with their wildlife tracking
- Brewongle EEC (DET) with their biodiversity adventure
- Waste (THSC) with their worms and composting
- Sydney Water with their water quality and bug testing
- Health (THSC) with their fun storm water game
- NSW RFS with their wild fire prevention activity
- Sustainability (THSC) with their native bush and planting activity
Only a certain number of days and venues are offered each year.
Watch out for the details and BOOK EARLY AND ENSURE YOUR CLASS ATTENDS.
Alternatively contact either the Environmental Education Officer on 029843 0533 or the Waste Education Officer 029843 0533 at Council for more detail.
Council has partnered with a number of local schools in their environment projects. Council has also partnered with schools in their submissions for environmental grants and assisted with the formulation of the submissions. Contact the education officers for more detail. For bushcare projects contact the bushland officer on 9686 8207.
Local Business Support for Schools
Local businesses are encouraged to assist schools with their environmental programs by providing assistance or funding. If you know a local business that could support a local school, then encourage them to contact council’s education officers. Council’s education officers can provide guidelines for them to assist with funding environment initiatives in our local schools.
Case study: In 2010 Novozyme Australia, an international manufacturing company, provided funding that enabled a local school to install a biodiversity site and water feature in their school. Other local businesses provided building materials at cost. This site will allow students to observe and record changes in this habitat over the school year and provide a great learning environment.
There are a range of educational resources including books that are available for teachers to access. Material is available to be loaned out through the Community Environment Centre at Annangrove. More resource material is listed under Waste Education and Tours/ Educational Resources.
Environmental Workshops and Tours
The Sustainability and Bushland teams present a series of workshops and tours at the Community Environment Centre, Annangrove Park and the Community Nursery, Ted Horwood Reserve.
These workshops are concerned with the themes of energy, water, biodiversity, environmental health and climate change. See the link to Environmental Workshops for more detail or phone 9843 0533. For a list of the workshops and tours conducted on the themes of waste and recycling contact the waste team on 9843 0505 or visit Waste Education/Tours and Workshops.
The Gould League designs innovative environmental education and training in sustainability. They also provide school programs for sustainability education.
Details at www.gould.edu.au/html/schools.asp
A comprehensive program designed for secondary students about the factors affecting the quality of our air. It aims to provide the knowledge and skills to understand the complex subject of air quality, how it affects our lives, and what action we can take to improve it. For details visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/airwatch
The Green Education Foundation
Site aimed at promoting and enhancing environmental education in schools from K-12.
Details at www.greeneducationfoundation.org
Schools Climate Kit
Provides details of an array of initiatives you can introduce into your school to help reduce climate change and to become greener. Written by teachers, K-6 lesson plans on climate change.
Details at www.cleanup.org.au/au/Campaigns/schools-climate-kit.html
Enviro Inspiro Competition for secondary students. Create a 5minute DVD showcasing your school environment project
Environmental Competitions for schools available and Sustainable Schools staff conduct professional learning workshops. For dates and locations visit www.sustainanbleschools.nsw.edu.au
www.teachsustainability.com.au is an online database for teachers that enable open and free sharing of resources developed or sourced by school teachers and educators.
www.learningfundamentals.com.au and www.live-the-solution.com these two sites provide helpful ideas to encourage students to be more reflective and active in caring for the environment. Some useful mind mapping activities provided.
www.abc.net.au/science/features info on environmental subjects such as Maths in Nature, Recycling Reality, Secret life of the Bilby.
www.abc.net.au/science/planetslayer this link allows students to have some fun calculating their own carbon contributions or impacts.
www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/index.html this USA site has lots of interesting stuff aimed at younger users and their teachers.
www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_features.asp this is a bit of a 'happening site' which would appeal to visual learners with its video features. There is a great list of actions that will aid with students wanting to Take Action.
www.penritlake-e.schools.nsw.edu.au this site contains a lot of other useful links to sites on climate change and has a unit of work for Stage 3 students on climate change. It provides HSIE and Science and Technology Outcomes, detailed content and a range of worksheets.
www.teachingclimatechange.com.au this resource compiled by the Australian Institute (2008) in conjunction with high school teachers contains 9 modules of work appropriate for upper secondary geography and senior economics.
www.energy-toolbox.vic.gov.au look for the schools information for primary, secondary and teacher resources.
www.energyhog.org an entertaining way to learn more about what uses energy in the house and how much these energy hogs consume.
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