Golden gong for eco

From left, mayoress Karen Boult, local Little Earth Montessori manager Sue Wilson, Jack Galavazi, 5, and enviroschool facilitator Nicky Gray PICTURE: AUTHENTIC AS

Little Earth Montessori Queenstown can claim to be Otago’s most environmentally conscious preschool.

It’s the region’s first early childhood centre, and only the fifth in the South Island, to be awarded ‘green-gold enviroschool’ status. The centre earlier received enviroschool bronze and silver awards.

The new enviroschool sign was unveiled at a presentation last Tuesday by Jack Galavazi on his last day as a preschooler. Guests of honour included mayoress Karen Boult.

The award proves sustainable practices and respect for all children and their cultures are embedded, centre manager Sue Wilson says.

Those practices include harvesting their own fruit trees, worm composting, recycling programmes and rain water collection.

The centre also includes children and their families in cultural celebrations like Chinese New Year and Matariki. With support from facilitator Nicky Gray, the kids are also also encouraged to devise and implement their own sustainable initiatives.