The Whaingaroa Environment Centre runs a Junior Enviro Club at Raglan Area School, teaching students about environmental sustainability through the hands on experience of creating edible school gardens. We are looking to expand this inspirational project into other schools in our catchment.
The Junior Enviro Club has had a hugely successful year; students have been relishing trying new healthy foods they have grown in their garden, they proudly take home bags of fresh vegetables to their families and are inspired to connect with, and care for, their environment.
This project has reached beyond our garden, inspiring other gardens in the wider school. Teachers are eager to incorporate growing food into classroom learning and students have been excited to take their new gardening skills home. WEC is now piloting a project to support families in need to create and maintain a home vegetable plot.
Students are connecting with their environment and have started their own “Clean Green Team”, proudly picking up litter from the school grounds at lunchtime. Students now volunteer at WEC after school and have even started a new edible garden in the main street of town. It has been a pleasure for us to watch enthusiasm grow and were proud to see our of our keenest Junior Enviro Club students win the joint Environmental Award at the schools annual prize giving. This is a whole school award and an awesome achievement for our tamariki.
The contribution of the NRS foundation has been invaluable and huge thanks to staff and students at Raglan Area School. WEC hopes to continue the Junior Enviro Club next year, growing more gardens to feed the school and inspiring and supporting our tamariki to be more sustainable.