Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has congratulated Gordonvale State High School for expanding its efforts to reduce the school’s environmental footprint.

Mr Pitt said the school was involved in several programs that teach students about the importance of sustainability as well as reducing waste and promoting recycling.

“Gordonvale State High School promotes environmentally friendly practices and has developed partnerships with the Gordonvale State School, local businesses and Land Care groups,” Mr Pitt said.

“This year, the school joined the mobile phone recycling program ‘You Can’ to raise money for youth cancer survivors.

“Significantly, students have been encouraged to undertake ‘real life’ projects to improve local waterways and adopt ‘green’ habits as part of their everyday lives.

“The high school has been operating its own farm for 29 years incorporating sustainable agriculture into the curriculum.

“The school’s extensive recycling program includes batteries, glass, ink cartridges, paper and cardboard, plus the tuckshop’s food scraps are fed to the school’s chickens.”

Mr Pitt said the school actively adopted a policy of purchasing recycled paper and text books, and reducing photocopying and printing, reusing canvasses, digital tapes, boxes and containers for storage, using material and timber off cuts and reducing chemical use.

“The school’s other sustainability initiatives include an online School Environmental Management Plan, the construction of a sensory and vegetable garden, a worm farm, and participation in the Reef Guardian program, Bike the Earth, Toad’s Day Out and the Tilapia Terminators Fishing Challenge,” he said.

“This year’s student science projects include an investigation by Year 8 student Nathanael Honnef into how to prevent golf balls entering the local O’Leary’s Creek as this creek runs through the golf course.

“His project involves liaising with the Gordonvale Golf Club to develop strategies to reduce the number of golf balls entering O’Leary’s Creek downstream from the golf course.

“Other students are developing ways to reduce litter, monitoring bird and insect life, and co-ordinating revegetation projects.”