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The Rock-itt : July 2011
Bilgola Plateau Public School is an environmentally sustainable school. Students learn about effective waste reduction, sustainable practices and an awareness of biodiversity. The students, with support from Pittwater Council, undertook an environment audit, and information gathered on waste, power and water was assessed and used as the basis of managing their school environment. The school received funding through Pittwater Sustainability Grants to initiate these sustainability programs. Through a parent working bee the school built and established a vegetable garden comprising six 2m x 2m patches and a large meshed area with two coops for twenty chickens. There are six compost bins beside the vegetable patches and two worm farms. Each class also has a ‘no dig’ vegetable patch created entirely by recycled paper, mulch, compost and seeds. The vegetable patches successfully grow vegetables, and fruits and herbs which supports the school canteen. The funding from the sale of the vegetable produce and eggs goes towards supporting the ongoing maintenance costs of the garden and chickens. New gardens have been planted where the focus is on establishing native gardens to attract the native wildlife and in doing so increase the biodiversity in the school grounds. All students have some responsibility to ensure sustainable practices are maintained. There are ‘Power and Water Rangers’, responsible for checking on water and power wastage, ‘Eco Rangers’ who take care of the vegetable garden, the chickens and composting, and ‘W aste Rangers’ responsible for ensuring food scraps and waste goes into the correct containers to feed the chickens, or for composting or use in the worm farm. They will have a ‘Harvest Festival Day’ when the produce from each class garden is harvested. Each class will research a healthy recipe to prepare and cook for sample tasting with their class produce. Every class will prepare their healthy eating samples for all students to taste. All recipes will then be collated to produce the Bilgola Plateau Public School “Grow, Grab, Gobble’’ Healthy Eating Cookbook.