Kindy reap­ing green re­wards

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

A Whangārei kinder­garten's ded­i­ca­tion to an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity has reaped re­wards.

Portland Kinder­garten is a fi­nal­ist in the 2018 Keep New Zealand Beau­ti­ful Awards.

It's in the Sus­tain­able Schools Award cat­e­gory, up against Daw­son Pri­mary School in Otara and Dis­cov­ery School in Welling­ton.

Head teacher Nerida Good­hue said the kinder­garten was “ab­so­lutely ex­cited”.

They were nom­i­nated by one of the par­ents and be­ing named a fi­nal­ist came as “a bit of a sur­prise”.

As part of be­ing a fi­nal­ist, the kinder­garten has to put to­gether a 30 sec­ond video sum­maris­ing the achieve­ment out­lined in its en­try.

It's here the kinder­garten is hop­ing to have the “win­ning dif­fer­ence”, with dad and film­maker Giles Mcneill lend­ing his ex­per­tise to the video.

“For him to do this for us is quite huge,” Good­hue said.

The kinder­garten is part of the En­vi­roschool Na­tional pro­gramme. It col­lects wa­ter in a tank and uses it for fruit trees and veg­etable gar­dens.

The chil­dren also grow their own veg­eta­bles, cook what they grow and use the left­overs for com­post and worm farms.

All par­ents are asked to pack plas­tic and waste-free lunch­boxes for the chil­dren, mean­ing any­thing left­over will be com­posted, worm farmed or re­cy­cled.

Among other ini­tia­tives, the chil­dren have an area next to the kinder­garten they call The Na­ture­hood, where they can ex­plore and con­nect with na­ture and each other.

“We have a real strong com­mit­ment from our fam­i­lies,” Good­hue said.

Portland Kinder­garten is look­ing for spon­sors to help it at­tend the awards gala din­ner on Oc­to­ber 26 at the Mar­itime Mu­seum in Auck­land.

Tick­ets are $200 each and the kindy is hop­ing to send three teach­ers.

Eco­s­tore, which started in North­land, is also a fi­nal­ist in the Most Sus­tain­able Large Busi­ness Award, along­side Road Met­als and Waste Man­age­ment.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

THE chil­dren at Portland Kinder­garten get to grow their own veg­eta­bles, cook what they grow and com­post or worm farm the left­overs.

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