Jasper Road Public School’s Impressive Sustainable Gardens
The EnviroMentors visit hundreds of schools each year. We love each and every one of the environmental initiatives we find, and we’re delighted to be constantly uncovering new ideas! Still… that’s a lot of schoolyard veggie gardens.
So it’s definitely a big deal to say we were blown away with Jasper Road Public School’s eco projects.
Nestled in the picturesque Hills district of Northwest Sydney, Jasper Road is simply bursting with sustainable practices and education! While each class has a patch of garden they are responsible for, they also share ‘Sustainability Gardens’. These well tended gardens not only boast a wide variety of vegetable staples but also an exotic bounty of well established fruit trees including banana, mango, fig, mulberry, apple, orange, alongside blueberries, raspberries and passionfruit.
A highlight of our visit was seeing the way students used these gardens. EnviroMentors rep Hailey was taken on a memorable tour by two of the Arbors students.
“They would stop to point out the tomato plants they were picking the ripe fruits from to snack on. The environmental leader informed me that the students and canteen got first pick of the fruits and veggies grown, then the school staff had a share… I was even sent home with some beautiful figs and eggplants.”
Hailey, EnviroMentors Educator
Welcoming Native Friends, Near and Far
Heavily featured in these gardens was organic recycling with compost bins and worm farms, tended by students. It doesn’t stop there, incorporating a bush tucker garden, complete with a native bee hive and eucalyptus tree whose branches are harvested by a local wildlife park, Featherdale, for their koalas. The garden also plays an important role for local wildlife with Tawny Frogmouths, Cockatoos and Masked Lapwings nesting on school grounds, and signs of possums all around.
Not forgotten at the school is the rest of Australia, most of which currently suffers long term drought. The “Dry River Bed” garden serves as a reminder to students of our largely drought stricken country, representing what is all too familiar in many parts of Australia.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to Jenny Franks, head of Jasper Road’s sustainability initiatives. “She fosters such a strong environmentally minded culture at the school and made it such a pleasure to work with the students”, says Hailey.
It was no surprise to find a few environmental awards around the school, including our own Metro Pride Schools Environment Award 2004 and Runners up in our Sustainable Cities Metropolitan Schools Environment Award 2012: They have every reason to be proud.