Thanks to Deb from Weedon Heights Primary for sending the following statement from the school through. We are stoked at the win and delighted to be working with the school.

Weeden Heights Primary School in Vermont South is the Australian project winner of Project Earth’s 2012 World Environment Day Global School Contest.  The school’s unique project to manage storm water triumphed from over 1700 project entries and is recognized in conjunction with the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The school took an innovative approach to solving a significant environmental problem involving storm water, which was not only detrimental to the school, but also damaging to adjacent private properties and local waterways.  The school worked in partnership with the school community, local community and design expertise of local permaculture design firm VEG (Very Edible Gardens), to deliver the successful project.

This project not only overcame a local environmental issue, but provided the opportunity for the school’s students to have hands on experience in protecting and enhancing their local environment.  This was reinforced by education sessions and associated research projects.  The program was fully supported by the local community, neighbours and local authorities, with Yarra Valley Water representatives speaking to students on sustainable water practices.

In November 2011, a 40 by 2 metre contoured channel known as a swale was built along the edge of the oval which then drained into an existing earth drain. The swale was designed to slow any runoff and to hold 40 000 litres of water, to be slowly discharge into a proposed indigenous garden that was created by the students in 2012.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen as a Project Earth 2012 winner,” said School principal Susan Campbell. “Programs and recognition like this continue to motivate the students to not only become involved, but to stay involved with community and environmental initiatives”.

School Council president Alan Taylor said “I’ve been amazed by the enthusiasm of the students for the project, vision of the teaching staff and the whole of community commitment to implement the VEG recommendations”.

Weeden Heights Primary School in Vermont South has a proven record and prides itself on creating a differentiated curriculum that caters for all students. In 2006, Weeden Heights commenced the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden project, now boasting an extensive vegetable garden, storm water recycling and chickens, with all Grade 3-6 students participating in regular integrated lessons in the kitchen and garden.