Friday, December 5, 2008

Makarora Site Visit

Wanaka Wastebusters played host to Makarora School on a very rainy day. They were on a trip into to town anyway and asked if they could come and have a look around site to see what happens to all of their recycling.

Needless to say, despite the rain, we had a great time. Utilising the big window in the shop we were able to look at the processing area and discuss what goes on in the shelter. We then braved up and made it outside into the rain to have a closer look at the line, the press and the polystyrene machine.

These site visits really add value to the work we do in schools about recycling and sustainability issues. The children loved watching the press squash the cardboard and guessing how much it would compress it. Going up onto the line, seeing how the different materials are sorted and first hand experiencing what it is like if people don't rinse their recycling. The magnatron is always a winner too, looking at the steel cans fly off the line towards the magnetic belt is almost magical. finally the children got to put some polystyrene into the big blue machine.

Thanks to everyone out the back who made this visit such a fun one. Remember, if yuo'd like to come and have a look around just drop me an email ( and I can arrange it.

Vision Mapping of a Sensory Kind in Makarora

After my year summary meeting at Hawea Flat school I headed up the road to Makarora for the afternoon. Makarora are a fairly new Enviroschool and are really embracing the program.

They've made a vision map and are slowly but surely starting to add to their pool of knowledge. One of the areas they really want to improve are the school grounds. So we set about recording some of the more sensory features of the school grounds.

What kind of colours are out there? Where is shady or sunny? Where does it smell good or bad? How do we record these things on the vision map anyway? The children soon figured out a pretty cool key to show these different features and after a bit of an explore around the grounds came back inside to add them to the map.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Look at us, we've got a bike track!

Yesterday I went up to Hawea Flat to do the end of year summary for their Enviroschools work and look what I found.......

....doesn't it look sick? So if you don't ride a bike then you may not quite appreciate how good this is, but take it from me this is one amazing addition to the school playgrounds and community. The children are buzzing about it. They are currently going through various safety training sessions so they can get the qualified to ride it.

So for those in the know, they have two dirt jump lines, one large, one small with a series of pumps for the return to the drop in ramp. There is a very large pump track in the shape of an 'H' and what looks to be a very fun track around the whole thing.

There is still a little more digger work to do on landscaping the site but for the most part it is ridable. As you can see there is also much more work to do, an orchard is being planned, water needs to be investigated, these things need to be watered otherwise they will just blow away into clouds of dust.

The track has been built by the Four Four Three boys, of Dirt Park and Lismore Park fame. I'm absolutely blown away by what they have achieved here. Such a great job guys.

This has been such and amazing project to be involved in, I think it really shows us that we can get what we want if we put the work in. The Envirogroup had the idea, they found some people to help. A local project manager offered up some time to help start it off, they visited Lakes Environmental to get permission, sweet talked the local earth workers, raised funds to help pay for it, involved road and bike safety people.....the list just goes on. Fantastic work everyone involved....I think I might just have to pay a visit there on Saturday afternoon and see if it rides as good as it looks.