(L-R) HNHS Students: Darren Goh, Catherine Fulford and Savannah Craig; HOD Social Sciences: Brenda Jones; Students: Alaura Ritchie and Katie Waby. Photo supplied.

Havelock North High School has won a $1,000 prize for placing first in this year’s HB Regional Council Enviro Challenge with its project “Attire to Inspire”.

The project involved repurposing of clothes that would have gone to landfill into other items such as bags and gloves. Repurposed items were also sold at the annual used clothing stall at Havestock.

Havelock North High School, Woodford House, Karamū High School, and Sacred Heart presented to a panel of judges in the Council’s Chambers on the environmental initiatives they have undertaken across their schools this year. Judges looked for effective projects with measurable outcomes that will help to protect and improve a school’s environment long-term.

Each school started student-led sustainability projects in their schools with waste minimisation and biodiversity enhancement as overall themes.

School projects included pest-free programmes, native planting, worm farms and composting, and repurposing clothing destined for landfill. Hundreds of students across the region were involved in making positive environmental changes within their school communities.

The Regional Council’s community engagement advisor Hinerangi Price said the regional council was “thrilled” with the level of the entries this year.

“For a programme that has only been underway for two years, the standard of entries are most impressive. We can already see a growing passion in the students for the environment and conservation.”

Twice each term, the Regional Council’s Environmental Education team visited the schools to assess progress, connect the schools with resources as needed, and offer any additional support.

The overall results were as follows:

Second equal – prize of $400 each

Karamū High School “Sustainable Karamū”
Waste minimisation and creating circular economy through growing food and
composting food waste. Veggie gardens and a worm farm system were introduced this year.

Sacred Heart College “Greener SHC”
The group enhanced the native planting on schoolgrounds and encouraged bird life by planting natives and holding a house plant growing competition to raise awareness. A native garden has been established this year with the plants that were used in the comp.

Third place – prize of $200

Woodford House “Sustainability at Woodford House”
The students implemented a waste minimisation programme through school-wide food scrap collection and worm farms.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air

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