Environmental Education Programs for Schools
The Hills Shire Council’s Environmental and Health team, in conjunction with the Resource Recovery team, provides Environmental Education (EE) programs and support for the more than 70 schools and colleges in and bordering the Hills Shire.
The following are the ways that the council supports EE programs and resources in local schools:
Schools Green Network
The Schools Green Network is a network of school teachers, school ancillary staff, parents and other educators, who are interested in encouraging and promoting environmental education in our local schools.
Council supports and facilitates the network by:
- Organising regular meetings (one per school term)
- Providing alerts on new resources and programs
- Sponsoring grant applications and partnering with schools
- Providing updates on government funding and grant availability
- Supporting NSW Sustainable Schools initiatives
- Encouraging local businesses to provide environmental grants to schools
If you are interested in joining the network please contact the council’s Environmental Education Officer on 9843 0533 or Resource Recovery Education Officer on 9843 0505.
Sponsored Education Programs
Council recognises the importance of working with local schools regarding environmental initiatives and education. Council currently sponsors two opportunities for schools to access environmental education services and resources.
Council supports environmental education in schools through the sponsorship of the EnviroMentors (KAB) school workshop program. The program is offered each year and is free to the primary schools that apply. These modules vary from year to year. This education package includes a range of environmental modules such as 'Sustainability' and 'Saving Water'.
EnviroMentors Sustainabilty Workshop - sponsored by Veolia
Just what exactly is sustainability? The EnviroMentors explore this concept with students in an easily accessible way, introducing the idea of an environmental footprint through discussions about natural resources that get students enthusiastic about their power to make a positive impact. Students collaborate through group activities and brainstorming to identify actions that they can take at school or at home to consume less and be more sustainable.
EnviroMentors Saving Water Workshop
Focusing on the water cycle, students learn just how much usable water we have on earth, in one of two water education modules. Taking a big-picture look at global water cycles, the EnviroMentors help students understand why we need to share this limited supply of water, and how our everyday actions can help achieve this. Puzzles help bring the science to life, while a little bit of drama creates a splash for learning to conserve water.
For further information contact the Resource Recovery Education Officer on 9843 0505.
Council also encourages the long-term engagement of schools in education for sustainability through the sponsorship of the Eco-Schools program. This sponsorship enables local schools to register and participate in the Eco-Schools program for zero cost. Join the Schools Green Network and find how you can become involved in this worldwide recognised program.
Who to contact in Council for environmental information
- The Resource Recovery Officer can assist with information on Recycling, waste reduction, composting, worm farming, carbon footprints.
- The Environmental Education Officer can assist with a range of topics including biodiversity, water, energy saving, environmental management and climate adaptation.
- The Bushcare Officer can assist with information on native plant identification, plant propagation, seed collection, mulching, bushcare and weed control. (Note: The Bushcare Officer does not do school visits as most of the work is on weekends).
- The local Landcare Officer is an alternative person to contact to arrange a school visit on bushcare, land and natural resource management and catchment management issues. Visit the Greater Sydney Local Land Services (LLS) website for contact details.
Who to contact in council for assistance with Environmental Events for Schools
The Bushcare Officer can provide assistance with advice on the location of planting sites and materials (such as tube stock for planting) for the following events:
- National Tree Planting Day
- Bushcare Activities
The Resource Recovery Officer can assist with advice and material for the following environmental dates:
- Clean Up Australia Day
- Compost Week
- National Recycling Week
- Waste Free Lunch Day
- Mobile Muster
- Chemical Clean-outs and E Waste Days
The Environmental Education Officer can provide advice and information on the following environmental dates:
- World Environment Day
- World Water Day
- Biodiversity Week
- Threatened Species Day
If your school is looking for an environment day event for your school to participate in, then the Youth Eco Summit (YES) is the event for you. This is a large scale interactive day featuring displays and workshops that are held at indoor and outdoor venues on the Sydney Olympic Park site at Homebush.
“A jam packed day full of fun environmental activities and presentations for students and teachers.”
Council recommends local school involvement in this award winning EE event and supports it in a number of ways. The YES event is a joint venture between Western Sydney University, Sydney Olympic Park and DET. Visit the website for more details.
Environmental Fieldwork - The council assists in the delivery of joint venture fieldwork excursions for local high schools with the
staff from Brewongle Environmental Education Centre. The fieldwork is relevant to the Stage 4 to Stage 6 Geography and Science curriculum.
Please contact Brewongle Environmental Education Centre for more details:
Steven Body - Brewongle Environmental Education Centre
587 Chapel Hill Road Sackville North 2756
STEVEN.BODY@det.nsw.edu.au or Ph: 02 4579 1136
Excursions to Council
Council offers a school excursion/visit to the council building and council chambers so that schools can see first-hand how the council functions. There are many environment and planning decision-making processes involved in the provision of local services and the management of local places. Contact council on 9843 0555.
Links to other local excursion venues and environmental providers
Environmental Educational Resources for Students and Teachers
Educational Resources available for download below or from the Environmental Education or Bushcare Officer:
My Wildlife Journal - Exploring the Bushland of The Hills Shire(PDF, 7MB)
Community Environment Centre Seasonal Wildflower Identification Booklet(PDF, 5MB)
Basic Bushland Photography Booklet(PDF, 5MB)
Bush Neighbours - Living Next to a Bushland Reserve(PDF, 2MB)
The Bushland of Hunts Creek Reserve(PDF, 2MB)
Bushland of Fred Caterson Reserve(PDF, 6MB)
The Hills Shire Council Website Links: