While school’s out for summer it’s a good time to reflect on one inspiring school in our area that certainly contributed to a greener west this year.
Deer Park North Primary School (DPNPS) is leading the way in sustainable urban landscaping and water management.
Just under 600sq m of land at the school has been revegetated with edible plants, native species and shady trees as part of the ‘Schools as a Catchment’ project. A constructed wetland for treating storm water runoff, an extensive productive garden and a community meeting space have also been created at the school.
Supported by funding from the State Government and delivered by Environmental Education Victoria, Josh Byrne and Associates and 202020 Vision, the new school garden showcases integrated water management and urban greening. All documentation from the project, including landscape plans, has been packaged into the ‘Schools as a Catchment’ resource kit. The online resource is freely available with the aim of inspiring other schools to develop their own greening/water projects.
Water in the landscape and vegetation can contribute to reducing the urban heat island effect, where hard surfaces such as buildings, roads and concrete absorb and retain heat causing them to be much warmer than surrounding vegetated areas. DPNPS is located within the City of Brimbank where there is a relatively low amount of tree coverage and high amount of bare ground. This project represents a school and local community based effort to address these issues.
With the landscaping completed, DPNPS will continue to work to an urban greening master plan over the months and years ahead to significantly increase the level of tree canopy coverage, and to create a number of engaging, educational landscaped spaces on the grounds.
The desired outcomes for this project are strongly aligned with those of Greening the West (GTW) and it was with pleasure GTW wrote a letter of support for the project’s funding application and participated in a project working group alongside the Victorian Association of Environmental Education, Josh Byrne & Associates, Melbourne Water, Brimbank City Council and the Department of Education and Training.