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School Grounds & Biodiversity
The Actsmart Schools program provides FREE resources to help schools manage their flora, fauna, and soils, through careful landscape design.
The aim is to protect plant and animal life, while still managing and developing school grounds.
Schools engaged in the program receive a FREE and easy-to-use School Grounds Best Practice Guide with step-by-step instructions on conducting a School Grounds Survey and preparing a School Grounds Action Plan.
For more information on how to sustainably manage school grounds and protect biodiversity, email email@example.com or call the Actsmart Schools Officers on 6207 6430 or 6207 6317.
Schools that make improvement to their school grounds can gain Actsmart Schools accreditation. In addition to the School Grounds Best Practice Guide, every school registered to the Actsmart Schools program receives:
- Professional learning for teachers, business managers and facilities managers
- A free compost and worm farm display to borrow for two weeks
- Newsletters and publications on developing sustainable school grounds
Schools can also take advantage of free school garden consultations by the Actsmart Schools qualified horticulturist.
The horticulturist can provide advice on:
- creating special gardens (for example food gardens, sensory or indigenous gardens)
- garden design to reduce energy and water consumption
- plant selection
- maintaining gardens
- keeping chickens
- compost and wormeries
- increasing biodiversity
- fire resistant plantings
The horticulturist offers workshops for teachers and parents, and student gardening sessions.
To access the resources above, or to get more involved at your school, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Actsmart Schools Officers on 6207 6430 or 6207 6317.
Actsmart Schools has Biodiversity Curriculum Units (P-Y10) and Understanding the Land through the Eyes of the Ngunnawal People curriculum package. These units are aligned to the ACT Curriculum and complement the Australian Curriculum.
Participate in international, national and local events e.g. National Composting Week, World Environment Day. The organisations that run these events have excellent curriculum resources linked to the Australian Curriculum.
For more information, email email@example.com or call the Actsmart Schools Officers on 6207 6430 or 6207 6317.
Check out these case studies to see how several ACT schools are acting smart to protect their plant and animal life. Use them to inspire action at your school
Farrer Primary School
Farrer Primary School has 280 students with an associated pre-school of 50 students. In 2000, the school established an environment centre with chickens, worm farms, compost heaps, a pond, large water tank, 15 garden beds and a classroom. The centre was paid by contributions from the school, parents and local community. Today, it is a showcase for Farrer Primary School and used for teacher workshops and community information evenings ...
Wanniassa Hills Primary School
Wanniassa Hills Primary School has constructed a hothouse built of PET bottles to extend the growing season for vegetables. Students from K-6 helped to cut and thread PET bottles together on canes that were slotted into the frame to make the walls of the hothouse. Through this process, students learnt about recycling, the greenhouse effect and growing plants.