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Belgian Gardens State School
Environmental Program
Breeding Pond
Views of
Castle Hill

Belgian Gardens State School (BGSS) has an environmental program that has been in operation for 13 years. Formally, the environmental education program is a subset of of the Studies of Society and Environment Curriculum. However, the school's environmental program is now an integral part of the overall learning curriculum, with practical environmental activities being part of many subjects.

For example in the rainforest area there is external seating, layed out like a mini auditorium so designed to allow studies to take place outdoors. In this area also there is sufficient room for drama activities such as plays. This allows for non-environmental education to be undertaken within the natural environment.

The School sits between two water catchments that flow to the Rowes Bay wetlands. During the wet season a large amount of water flows across the school grounds. The first of the environmental projects was to establish a rainforest in an area of the school that was subject to erosion during heavy rains. The trees were planted to stabilise the soil and ensure that the downstream water quality was improved.

Worm world is a worm farm maintained by the BGSS students. Here food scraps, news paper and other organic wastes are fed to worms and so produced are worm casts, a nutrient rich material that has many uses. One such use is in envirobricks. Envirobricks are a brick shaped mixture of wormcast and shredded paper. Once water is added, the envirobricks become a growth medium for native grasses and assist the native grass to outgrow exotic grasses.

In other projects, BGSS students have developed a number of themed gardens. These include: Bushtucker, Japanese, Frog Breeding, Ornamental and Permaculture gardens. All the gardens are designed, built and maintained by the students.

BGSS is the first school in Townsville to join the Land for Wildlife program. Under this program, the school becomes part of a wider environmental management program incorporating wildlife corridors and native habitat areas. The schools location at the base of Castle Hill affords the students a beautiful view of the colours and textures of the dry tropics and links the school with the wildlife of the hill.

BGSS gratefully accepts assistance from a number of parties including Land for Wildlife, Townsville City Council, Parents, and Local Business in developing its environmental program.

For more information about the BGSS Environmental Program, contact the school.