Up to 12 Enviro schools this year

Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher
Up to 12 schools in the Waitaki district will become Enviroschools in the coming year, but the nationwide sustainability programme for schools will not be in place at those schools from day one of the first term.

In December, the Waitaki District Council agreed to provide $25,000 from its waste minimisation reserve to fund the programme.

And in a statement yesterday, the council - which until the funding was agreed to was the only council in Otago not funding Enviroschools - touted the programme.

Otago Enviroschools co-ordinator Robyn Zink said she was now working with the council to hire a facilitator for the programme in the Waitaki district. She was finding there was ''quite a bit of interest'' from schools in the area, including ''a lot of interest from early childhood centres'', and she hoped the programme would be in place for schools before the end of the first term or early on in the second term.

''It is a bit of a process, and we have found in other parts of the country it is worth getting the process right,'' she said.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the programme was ''becoming more relevant every day''.

''If we can teach the younger members of our community about sustainability issues such as growing their own food, managing waste and recycling, it's well known that those messages will also reach parents, caregivers and others throughout the community,'' he said.

''We have full confidence that our younger generation will learn skills that will lead to a greater awareness of environmental issues, and building greater self-reliance.''

Ms Zink said the intent of the programme was to foster a generation ''who instinctively think about sustainability''.

''People of my generation ... we're doing something, it's like, 'Oh yeah, sustainability has to be in there somewhere, doesn't it?'

''It often ends up being a bit of an afterthought instead of being embedded into everything we do and think about.''

If the programme attracted interest from more schools than it could cater for, there would be ''some sort of selection process''.



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