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Otonga students host sustainability hui

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 12:30 p.m.

Envirogroups from around the region were invited to an annual Enviroschools hui in Rotorua hosted by Otonga School last week.

Otonga's Green Team shared their action projects, including water conservation, butterfly gardens, litter free lunches, worm farming and stream restoration. The Jackson Park stream creates a natural boundary to Otonga School, and has been a focus for the Green Team and the wider school.

Invertebrate studies in the stream inspired students to plant the riparian strip to improve water quality and habitat for wildlife. Students teaching other students is a core part of the Enviroschools programme which encourages schools to work towards their vision of a sustainable future.

Otonga School recently became a Bronze Enviroschool in recognition of their progress as a sustainable school. The eight visiting schools were Te Ranga School (Western Bay), Ōtumoetai Primary (Tauranga), Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rotoiti (Rotorua), Ōhope Beach School (Eastern Bay), Western Heights High School (Rotorua), Bethlehem Primary (Tauranga), Lynmore (Rotorua) and Selwyn (Rotorua).

Lead Teacher at Otonga School, Amanda Jeffery said the students had been really excited about the lead-up to the hui and practicing their speeches. Pupil Ila Ford-Robinson of Lynmore School said the day was fun and she learned more about making worm gardens and having small gardens for each classroom.

"We enjoy looking after our stream and especially like finding koura - it means our stream is healthy," said Cameron Butterworth, year six Otonga Primary student and Green Team member.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Corporate Services Group Manager Brian Trott said the participating schools characterised the broad range of communities that valued the sustainability programme, and included kura kaupapa, rural and urban schools and a secondary school.

Ends

For further media information please contact Corporate Services Group Manager Brian Trott on 0800 884 880, or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on direct dial 0800 884 881 ext 8149 or (021) 923 339.    

Otonga school hui 2011 lowres