School Environmental Initiatives
Townsville Central State School

P.B. Hulthen, Principal
8 July, 2000

1. Environmental Management
The Townsville Central State School developed the "Greening Central Project", which was initiated by Mrs. Mandy Furnell. The project helps foster partnership between the school's staff, parents and students in improving the school environment by developing the three main areas within the school compound, namely the rainforest, the palm garden and the bush tucker area. The project also received valuable inputs from Townsville Landcare Unit and from Townsville City Council's Parks Services.

2. Revegetation Program
Following a long period of drought, the school experienced a widespread infestation of weeds especially the goat head burr. The need to rid the school of this weed was one of the major catalysts for undertaking various environmental activities within the school ground and incorporating environmental education in the school program.

As part of the school revegetation program, over one hundred trees were planted on the rainforest section of the school. In order to prevent re-growth of weeds, the rainforest area (adjacent to Kennedy Street corner) was partly mulched with layers of newspaper. The activities involved the school children, parents as well as staff of the school.

An automatic in-ground sprinkler system was installed along the northern end of the school from Kennedy Street to the fenceline of the Castle Hill Holiday Units on the corner of Warburton and Gregory Streets. This system is intended to provide regular watering for the trees and to facilitate grass cover within the school ground.

3. Environmental Education Program
There are several outdoor activities undertaken by the school to facilitate environmental awareness. An annual school camp at Paluma Environmental Centre is undertaken for year six students. Studies and projects in relation to this program are carried out prior to and following the camp. Children from other year levels also have an opportunity to experience local natural environment, through various school camps within Townsville and the surrounding areas (e.g. Mungali Falls, Mangetic Island, the Ravenswood, Charters Towers and Crystal Creek). Guest speakers and experts are invited to the school to give educational talk regarding dangerous creatures as well as procedures when encountering native fauna.

The school has also been part of the Waterwise Program and has trialed teaching aids from this valuable program.

In 1998 and 1999, the school was also involved in the Green-Up and Clean-Up programs, in which students sought sponsorship for the projects from local residents. Sponsorship and co-cooperation of Townsville City Council helped to dispose of the rubbish collected. Areas targeted and cleaned by these projects extend from Redpath Street, along Warbuton Street, around the boundary fence as well as clean up within the school ground. However, health and safety concerns prevented the continuation of these projects.

4. Waste Management Programs
The school also recycled grass clippings, which is utilised to mulch all trees within the school. Moreover, old newspaper is collected and use for ground cover to stop weed infestation.

5. Future Projects
The school plans to undertake further work within the school compound, which include:
- the extension of an in-ground watering system to the school oval;
- replacement of trees lost during cyclone Tessi;
- the proposed replacement of the pond with a Japanese style garden;
- the construction of an educational trail through the bush tucker area allowing for the identification of each bush tucker plant or tree;
- the cleaning and recapping of the old prison wall which was reduced to its present height in 1919;
- the investigation of a proposal to provide much of our own water from underground sources;
- visits to significant areas such as the Palmetum and Queen's Gardens