Pupils learn lessons from the past

Enviroschool educator Scott Martin supplies fresh adobe bricks to Waiwera South School pupils Ivy...
Enviroschool educator Scott Martin supplies fresh adobe bricks to Waiwera South School pupils Ivy Whiteside 12, Charleigh Campbell 12, Zoe Cleghorn 12, Tuvia Belski 12, Zealan Evaristo 13, Florence Anderson 11 and Maisey Rae 11, at Clutha Valley Community Hall last week. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
Historical solutions to modern building problems were learned at the Clutha Enviroschools ecological building hui last Wednesday.

About 40 pupils from Warepa, Clutha Valley, Waihola, Waitahuna and Waiwera South schools joined a dozen adults at Clutha Valley Community Hall to learn, design, plan and share ecological, alternative building techniques and resources.

They rotated through practical workstations exposing them to sustainable, eco-building methods including adobe bricks, wattle and daub, cob-clay mix and rendering with clay.

The children learned about the life cycles of old and new building materials and the environmental impact they can have on the planet.

After lunch, teams from each school expanded on the Enviroschools kaupapa of learning and taking action together by planning an ecological building project feasible for their schools, and built a model to take back and share with classmates and teachers.

Play huts, bird shelters, garden sheds and Lilliput libraries were some of the projects.

"Ecological building celebrates and honours that we are part of our natural environment and explores the concept of buildings that come from nature and can return to nature, [and] our thanks to Cook Brothers Construction and Blackhead Quarry for supplying materials and knowledge," Clutha District Council waste education officer Scott Martin said.

The hui is also set out to empower and inspire pupils and schools to take up the Otago Enviroschools 2024 Ecological Building challenge.

"Young people already care about nature," Central Otago/Lakes Enviroschool co-ordinator Chelsea Donnelly said.

"We want to teach a positive message that modern convenience often leads to problems later, but there are old solutions to these problems that are worth re-learning," she said.