Auckland, New Zealand
In Auckland, New Zealand, Val, the director of the retreat center where I was staying, helped me connect with Meadowbank School, an “EnviroSchool” nearby. While not part of the Eco-Schools program, Meadowbank School is a green school where teachers and administrators work to make environmental sustainability a part of students’ everyday life. The principal at Meadowbank School, Peter Ayson, gave me a wonderful tour of this large, suburban campus.
Some highlights of my tour:
• Trash Collection
- I noticed that each trash collection location had three waste bins: one for compost, one for recycling and one for landfill trash. Students handle most of the composting, and around campus you can see student-made recycled-art.
• School Gardens
- Everywhere you look there are containers and garden plots growing vegetables and fruits. This year the school has started using produce from the gardens in school lunches.
• The Bush-Gully
- Over a 15-year period, the students, staff and families have planted over 7,000 native trees and plants in what is now known as their “bush-gully”! It is used as a hiking trail and outdoor classroom. It is beautiful.
• Compost Tea
- Peter led me over a suspension bridge to the primary school area, where he showed me large worm bins where compost tea is made in old bathtubs. Daily the compost tea is drained by students and poured into the gardens.
Sustainable practices are everyday culture at Meadowbank School!