In 2017/18 the Western Sydney Environmental Education Network undertook a collaborative best practice sustainability education and engagement project 'Mountains to the Sea'. (Read project case study here).
This project is supported by AAEE NSW through their regional capacity building project and the NSW Government's Environmental Trust.
Mountains to the Sea
Mountains to the Sea Project is a partnership program between City of Parramatta, Cumberland Council, Western Sydney Environmental Education Network, Blue Mountains City Council, Northern Beaches Council and Australian Association of Environmental Education.
This project involves taking 90 students of stage 2 from three different schools on a journey from the Mountains to the Sea. Students from the Blue Mountains will meet with students from Parramatta to participate in environmental activities focused on catchment and stormwater pollution including litter clean up and audit, waste to art making, and identifying and mapping their catchments. These activities will provide environmental benefit through reducing litter and stormwater pollution through the clean-up and audit at the Parramatta site and in the school yard.
These activities include:
- Story of a Catchment: our Educator will discuss what a catchment is, why it’s important, impact of pollution, and look at maps and models to understand their own catchment area.
- Students will take part in a litter clean up and audit of Parramatta river riparian zone and parkland. The audit will involve identifying and categorising the different types of litter. They will then discuss alternatives for the common items. Each student will make a ‘public’ pledge to avoid using at least one disposable item and commit to cleaning up their school ground after recess and lunch sessions.
- Finally, the students will use some of the litter to build ‘waste-to-art’ demonstration pieces. The art work will be displayed by Cumberland Council and City of Parramatta Council to highlight the issue.
- A school litter clean up and audit will be done by all 90 students both before the first excursion day in October and before the second excursion day in November. This audit will be repeated as a means to evaluate learning effectiveness. An attitudinal survey of both students and teachers will also be conducted before the first excursion day and after the final excursion day.
After these activities at Lake Parramatta, all students will then travel to the Northern Beaches Coastal Environment Centre to further their experience. On the second excursion day, the student from the coast will travel to Parramatta for further learning and then on to Blue Mountains.
This project has been supported by the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust.
About our network
The Western Sydney Environmental Education Network (WSEEN) is predominantly for local government environmental educators from councils in the Greater Western Sydney Region.
The Western Sydney Environmental Education Network (WSEEN) was formed in 2000 to help foster links between the environmental educators of Western Sydney and to facilitate the sharing of information and for participants to learn from one another.
Read our Western Sydney Environmental Education Network Terms of Reference
Our two-hour meetings are held every three months at a host Council and the meeting agenda is sent out one week before the meeting.