Environmental education groups join forces

30 June 2015

The creation of a new forum means schools in the greater Wellington region will soon benefit from more effective and sustainable environmental education.

Students from Normandale School at Wellington Zoo.

Normandale School students learn about the environment at Wellington Zoo.

Wellington City Council, the Department of Conservation, and Enviroschools have worked together to form the Wellington Region Environmental Education Forum (WREEF), which aims to make it easier for groups working in this area to collaborate and share knowledge.

Before, organisations delivering education programmes on such topics as bio-diversity, sustainability, and waste minimisation worked independently. WREEF will improve communication between groups, allowing them to learn from each other and develop links between programmes. This could lead to collaborative funding approaches and more effective investment.

Working together will also make it easier to raise the awareness of the different programmes available, and for schools to choose the right one for their needs.

To begin with, WREEF will focus on primary schools, with the long-term goal being to provide coordination from early childhood right through to adult education. All environmental education providers are welcome to join.

“The formation of WREEF is good news for the environment,” says Elspeth McMillan, Education Partnership Leader at Wellington City Council. “It means providers can more effectively enrich young people’s ecological literacy and their connections with nature. This will give the next generation the tools they need to build a sustainable future for the planet.”

WREEF’s goal for the coming year is to set up a database of environmental education providers and programmes that will improve collaboration and communication between groups and schools.