Emerald Primary wins $1,000 for its commitment to sustainability – could your school be next?

Jenny Hiller, Yarra Valley Water and Ian Gibson, savewater! with students from Emerald Primary School

Emerald Primary School has struck gold, becoming the first school in Yarra Valley Water’s service area to win $1,000 for downloading savewater! online Educational Resources for teachers.

The educational resources are still available so it’s not too late for schools to get involved and go into the draw for a chance to win $1,000. Check out the savewater!® Educational Resources for more information.

One of Emerald Primary School’s core initiatives is its Environmental Education Program. The school has been assisted by Yarra Valley Water on water-efficiency through its participation in the Water – Learn it! Live it! (Water LiLi) program. In addition, the school’s energy conservation project has avoided over 14,000 kilograms of CO2 to date.

‘Climate change is a real risk and it’s great to see that the future is in safe hands with schools like Emerald Primary leading the way in educating students about sustainability,’ says Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Tony Kelly.

The school’s energy conservation project has avoided over 14,000 kilograms of CO2 to date.

Leigh Johnson, Environment and Sustainability Co-ordinator at Emerald Primary School, says the school was thrilled to win $1,000.

‘Our parents’ committee actually took the initiative to download the educational resources, which shows they are very much a part of our school community,’ says Mr Johnson.

‘We plan to use the funds to send a group of students to Melbourne Water’s International Kids Teaching Kids Conference at Etihad Stadium in October, in the hope that they will come back and inspire the rest of the school to become more sustainable.’

Emerald Primary School students at one of the many school gardens

The Environmental Sustainability Education Program, developed by savewater!® and supported by Yarra Valley Water, assists teachers to incorporate environmental sustainability into their classes.

The program currently consists of three sets of worksheets covering topics including Water Savers (Years 5 to 8), Carbon Tradies (Years 7 to 9) and Climate Change – The cold hard facts (Years 9 to 10).

Mission CO2 game characters

‘While the drought appears to have broken and Melbourne’s water storages are in a much healthier position, sustainable water practices should remain as part of the responsible norm, as we never know what’s around the corner,’ says Mr Kelly.

‘At the height of the drought Emerald Primary worked hard to establish water-wise gardens, so it’s great to see the students are still involved in maintaining these.’

The school also recently received a free water-wise gardening pack from Yarra Valley Water, encouraging students to continue practicing sustainable habits in school gardens, despite recent rains.

The water-wise gardening pack consisted of:

• Collapsible square 5 litre buckets
• Water storage crystals
• Trigger nozzles
• Collapsible weed bags
• Pot spike packs
• Gardening gloves
• Adjustable drip spikes
• Rain gauges
• 2 litre spike bottles
• 60 litre water tanks
• 24 litre water tanks
• Irrigation spikes (for use with the tanks)

Mr Johnson says the water wise gardening pack has assisted the school with creating a new veggie patch, which will be visited by Channel 31 gardening show presenter, Vasili, in September.
‘The free gardening pack has really allowed the kids to nurture their love of nature, and also came in very handy when they planted over 500 trees as part of the Planet Ark Tree Planting Day.’
Yarra Valley Water is a proud member of the savewater!® Alliance, which allows communities to access the latest water-efficiency tips as well as products, competitions, awards and games.

If you know a teacher or student, make sure you tell them about the Educational Resources for them to go into the chance of winning $1,000 for their school. 

For more information on Emerald Primary School, watch the video below: