Fifteen excited Hout Bay pupils and teachers set off for an adventure in the Cederberg last Thursday after their schools took first, second and third prize in the Thrive 2014 Enviro Audit. This was yet another victory for the winners, Hout Bay High, as they recently received a second prize award in the 2013/2014 Eduplant competition with Thrive’s support.
After a long journey the group arrived at their camp site in the Cape Nature Reserve where tents had to be pitched and dinner made before sleep and a full three-day schedule could commence.
The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) Environmental educators were most impressed with the knowledge our learners already had about matters environmental, but there was much more to learn. Pupils explored rock paintings, climbed mountains and massive rock structures, gazed at the night skies and looked for scorpions in the dark. They even spotted the elusive boomslang – one of the most venomous snakes in Africa. Mamsie Mongwe, a teacher at Silikamva, said: “I learned so much on this trip.
For example I used to kill poor harmless insects for no reason, but now I see how wonderful each creature and nature is. “As for snakes, just move out of their way as all they want to do is get away from us scary humans.” By the end of three days the pupils from Hout Bay High, Silikamva and Kronendal Primary and from very different backgrounds had become firm friends. How they got there ... At the Sentinel News and Thrive EnviroQuiz/Art event in June this year, Hout Bay schools.
were motivated to get their schools ready for the environmental audit. Thrive mentors and school eco clubs got to work and engaged with their schools, encouraging them to become greener and more sustainable and to act as role models for the community. Early in September Andy Le May of Icologie/ewizz, who arrived on his electric scooter conducted surprise visits to the schools to assess the Thrive 5 Pillars of Sustainability: Waste, Local food, Water, Energy and Biodiversity.
Five of the 10 Hout Bay schools, Silikamva High, Llandudno Primary, Sentinel Primary, Hout Bay High and Kronendal Primary got into the final round of the contest where their school’s presentation was adjudicated by Jaci van Niekerk of the Environmental Evaluation Unit at UCT on September 19. Next year the Enviro Audit presentations will take place on World Environment Day, June 5 and the EnviroQuiz/Art on September 4. Angela Mihal, a Grade 4 teacher at Llandudno Primary, had this to say: “After the Thrive auditor’s visit we sprang into action by giving feedback to the whole school at assembly on how we can improve our ‘greenness’.
We introduced compost bins around the school, started an Eco Club, restarted our worm farm, extended the veggie garden, begun a system of turning lights off, built a bird feeder to attract birds and compiled a list of green issues that need to be addressed in the future”. If you wish to become part of this programme and wish to assist contact Thrive on 021 790 7226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website www.thrive.org.za