Penrith City Council has congratulated Oxley Park Public School on being recognised as a leader in sustainability.
Last week the school became the first in NSW to receive and raise its Green Flag – the top award given by the Eco Schools program, which is a branch of Keep Australia Beautiful and promotes environmental awareness through education.
Oxley Park Public has achieved great success over the course of its eco-journey spanning the past five years.
Council’s Sustainability Champion, Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown, visited Oxley Park last month with Deputy Mayor Tricia Hitchen and Councillor Robin Cook for a first-hand look at the school’s raft of environmental initiatives.
“Oxley Park Public is home to a vast sustainability program – I was blown away by the various projects staff and students have worked hard to roll out since their journey began,” Cr McKeown said.
“I was most impressed by the on-site farm, complete with chickens, ducks and a rabbit, as well as the Outdoor Café, where students take cooking classes; they prepare meals in a great space using produce from the very gardens they tend to during the week.
“It is fantastic to see such commitment from a local school, particularly one that has relied heavily on grant funding to grow their ‘green’ program – they also save money in many ways such as using recycled materials to create garden beds.
“I am pleased to see our young people, the leaders of tomorrow, working towards a better future and I encourage all schools in our City to get on board.”
NSW Department of Education’s Murat Dizdar, Deputy Secretary School Performance – South, presented principal Kim Smith with the Green Flag during an assembly and commended the school’s achievement.
“It is outstanding to see the school’s Eco-Committee, made up of staff and students, facilitate a range of programs and initiatives to encourage the entire school community to work together to minimise waste and reduce their impact on the environment,” Mr Dizdar said.
Oxley Park Public School has an established orchard with fruit trees that are used for Crunch and Sip, and supply ingredients for their Breakfast Club program.
The school also has an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Garden full of bush tucker plants and are involved in the No Bees No Future and Kreative Koalas projects, as well as a range of healthy lifestyle campaigns.
The school is also active in managing their waste by composting scraps and keeping a worm farm. They undertake waste audits, collect materials for the Teracycle scheme and are part of the Litter Legends program.