School Environmental Initiatives
The Townsville State High School

Laurie Newman, HoD Social Sciences
6 July 2000

1. Environmental Management

Townsville State High School has had a keen interest in the environment and the education of its students regarding environmental management. In the early 1990's a major revegetation program of the school grounds saw a strategic planting program instigated. This was done with the assistance of the Townsville City Council and the Department of Primary Industries.

2. Environmental Education

Program In 2000, the senior level students have investigated and reported on the issues of inner city redevelopment and recreation on the Ross River Dam. In both investigations the environment was a significant consideration.

At a community level students have been involved in a number of environmental education programs, for example the Clean Up Australia Day. For the past 8-10 years the school has made the Ross Creek/Causeway it's clean up day focus. More recently, the school has teamed up with Conservation Volunteer Australia to undertake a community action program to clean up the Ross Creek Area. In the past clean up days have also focused on the Strand, Pallarenda Beach and Ross River.

In 1996, the school established a cultural garden to enhance student awareness of native bush foods. Today, this garden is seen as a valuable teaching resource highlighting the diversity and importance of native species as a source of food and medicine for indigenous cultures. From an environmental quality perspective, the school is a strong supporter of the Cool Shades, Sunsafe programs. Throughout the school a number of courtyards and garden areas have been supplied to with shade cloth covers to enhance the environment and improve sunsafe areas previously achieved from tree cover.

3. Waste Management Programs

A part from the revegetation program, the school has for many years been involved with paper, cardboard and aluminium can recycling. Throughout the school aluminium can recycling cages have been installed and the staffrooms, printery and administration centre, collect all recyclable paper.

At a curriculum level, a variety of subjects including Marine Science, Multi-Strand Science, Biology, Geography and the Study of Society and Environment, have a strong environmental education focus and provide students with a variety of action research filed and community based learning activities to improve student awareness, understanding and management of environmental issues.

In the general maintenance of gardens, large quantities of mulch are used to improve soil, manage weeds and reduce water consumption. All gardens have been recently top-dressed with a thick layer of mulch. This gardening procedure sends an important message to students of the value of green waste recycling.