The Earth’s resources should not be wasted but be used sustainably for us and all the species because they are limited. Rather than trying to dominate and manage the Earth for our own use, our goal should be to modify behaviour and economic and politic systems to encourage earth-sustaining economic growth.

It is the role of every teacher to encourage students to critically think about their behaviours and a worldwide view of the planet.

At Epping Views sustainability is a part of our culture. It has been embedded into our everyday practice since the schools inception. This includes all students and staff being members of a sustainability team. They are members of either a Water, Waste, Energy or Biodiversity team.

Our students are very aware of the environment around them. Making sustainable decisions is like second nature and they have an active involvement in many sustainable practices within the school. Environmental units of work have also been built into the curriculum.

August 2015 – The Frog Bog at Epping Views Primary School

Some of you may have noticed that an unused corner of our school has been on a transformational journey in the last few months.

During European settlement in the 1830s, the area around Epping was used for farming. Before this however, the Wurundjeri people lived in an area that was a haven for native wildlife including the Growling Grass Frog and the Eastern Banjo Frog or Pobblebonk.

Now as a school, we are turning back the clock and making changes to provide a safe habitat for the Growling Grass Frog and his friends in our modern and developed estate. We have created an entirely indigenous wetland environment with the fantastic support of the Merri Creek Management Committee.

Firstly, the area was designed by some of the Year 4 students as we decided that it was our responsibility to provide a habitat for our native animals. A number of our students (and teachers) got terribly muddy as we dug out the Frog Bog pond. Maintenance Team members Neville and Gerrard were thankfully on hand to lend their expert knowledge and pull me out of the mud. Following this, the Water Sustainability Team participated in laying out the pond liner and the first planting of indigenous plants with Jane from the Merri Creek Team.

The area was starting to take shape and the ladies at the office started getting calls from parents looking to enroll their froglets for the 2016 school year.  

The next step was to let the rain do its work and fill the pond, and of course complete the planting of more than one hundred grasses, shrubs and water plants. For this Grade 4, 5 and 6 students were nominated by their teachers to become part of ‘The Green Machine’. The Green Machine students then learnt how to plant tube stock plants, identify frogs and maintain this wetland environment. Then they completed the planting and finishing touches with Neville, Gerrard and the Merri Creek Team.

I am sure that you will agree that our students have done a fantastic job making positive changes in our school environment and have literally ‘got their hands dirty’ through creating this wonderful new asset to our school. Now we await the arrival of our little hopping friends, the plan is to attract plenty of insect life to the area and the next level of the food chain will arrive. Please walk by the Frog Bog which is at the rear of the Multi-purpose building on Dunolly Street and listen out for any frogs arriving. Take the opportunity to talk together about the native environment and the importance of us all doing our little part.

From Little Things Big Things Grow!

John Longley