Environmental Education

Inspiring the youth to cherish their natural environment 

News from the Environmental Education Project

Herbertsdale Green Roses blossoming in Stilbaai

Herbertsdale Green Roses blossoming in Stilbaai

11/10/17
 Herbertsdale Primary have recently established an environmental or “Green Club” at their school.  This is the first outing as “The Green Roses”. The aim of this outing was to expose the learners to a different environment, to show new perspectives, to generate an interest in the outdoor world, to spark curiosity in the natural world and of course to explore and transfer information. The visit to Stilbaai started at the Tuin op die Brak, where we met with Arrie Combrinck our educational field guide for the day.  Arrie  took us through the Botanical Garden where there is a specific focus on medicinal plants and succulents.  Once we had seen the Botanical Garden we headed for the Blombos Museum.  Arrie spoke about the Blombos Cave and the archaeological findings, the origins of man and all the artifacts that show the evolutionary man’s progress in terms of tool making and other survival skills. Read more about the other site visits in the report below compiled by Monica Vaccaro.
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Green Roses growing into leaders

Green Roses growing into leaders

10/15/17
 On Friday 8th of September we visited the Green Roses with the intention of handing over their leadership badges and planting trees for Arbor week. There was a special assembly held whereby the whole school gathered with the staff.  There was a brief talk about the new leadership roles.  Learners in grade 4 and 5 were inspired to look up to these roles and positions and know that they too will get to be future leaders.  The juniors were encouraged to be respectful and to cooperate with their leaders.    Each team came up and were handed the badges which they proudly pinned on their uniform. There were two educators that offered their mentorship to the teams.  We are very happy that the educators are keen to drive and assist the learners.  We would like to thank Ms Veronika Muller and Ms Lizelle Labuschagne for stepping into mentorship roles for the teams. Download the full report below.
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Green Butterflies meeting, planting and botanising

Green Butterflies meeting, planting and botanising

9/22/17
 On 5th September we held a special training and structural meeting with the Green Butterflies.  The committee ran the entire meeting observing the correct protocol. ITEMS OF DISCUSSION: Team leaders gave feedback of the projects they manage. Everything seems to be running smoothly except for the bathrooms (solutions were discussed) - school will look into the situation We took a look at new projects developing from the seeds and the Spekboom as well as the start of the Botanical Garden Project. The structure and new leaders were appointed for these Projects.  These projects will keep the learners busy with work during their weekly meeting on a Thursday.  Formalizing the staff leadership mentorship. The introduction of champions or mentors from Jobs for Carbon team to facilitate the projects and assist the leadership. Download the full report below.
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Because our children are the footprint of our legacy

Because our children are the footprint of our legacy

10/15/17
The intention of our visit to the Rooiberg area from 26-28 September 2017 was to educate our students on the basics of the knowledge on the Klein Karoo. They must experience and feel what the climate, environment and people are like. Staying at the RUST farm was a privilege … more of a spoil, but it’s hard to let the students and clients understand this if their only point of reference is luxury. We unfortunately owe this to ourselves and our children and our future, to be part of the educational process where we understood more about biodiversity; i.e. our ecology, community and the global village. Being said that, we must thank Andre Britz and Steve du Toit of the GCBR for being available to share their wisdom with us during the three days out there. A huge thank you to the RUST family for offering their home as a bases.
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Tree planting at Ladismith High, Vanwyksdorp Primary & Herbertsdale Primary

Tree planting at Ladismith High, Vanwyksdorp Primary & Herbertsdale Primary

9/22/17
During Arbor week (1-7) September 2017, we coordinated a tree planting program with 3 schools in the Eden district.  This was a combined partnership with CAPENATURE, GCBR and LANDMARK FOUNDATION.  We are also fortunate to have assistance from J4C (Jobs for Carbon). A big thank you to the champions that will be guiding the Green Butterflies with their projects. The Principal of Ladismith High, Mr Elie, kindly requested to get the Grades 7, 8 and 9’s involved in a tree planting session.  It is wonderful to work with schools where the principal is keen to bring environmental education to the school. There were a total of 93 learners and a keen educator, Mr Jaques Le Roux who assisted with the planning and preparations.  The school received 2 Soetdoring, 1 Outeniqua Yellowood and 70 spekboom.  The Preprimary school, which is adjacent to the school, also received 5 spekboom on request by the little ones.  Learners were motivated to become the change that was needed in this world. Read the full report which can be downloaded below.
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Herbertsdale Green Roses moving forward

Herbertsdale Green Roses moving forward

9/3/17
During June, the grade 6 and 7 learners of Herbertsdale held their first meeting as the Green Club.  They have decided to call their club Green Roses, this decision was unanimous and therefore they will from now be referred to as The Green Roses. The various teams were asked to put a list together of tools/materials needed to facilitate their tasks.  It was impressive to see how they listed real essential tools such as wheelbarrows, polish, handy andy etc. The list was well thought and it had demonstrated real engagement with their positions. The learners raised funds for the club by charging R5 at the gate for parking at the annual Bazaar. This was an initiative by one of the learners and raised R172. This initiative will be rewarded with a green credit. Green credits are cumulative and there are rewards for the most green credits accumulated in a two year run. Download full report below.
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Vanwyksdorp Primary School beautified

Vanwyksdorp Primary School beautified

9/3/17
The beautification of the school would not have taken place had it not been for the funds given to the Green Club by Landcare.  This wonderful injection of funds has made it possible to speed up the process.  To date there has been a change in the school grounds.  The whole entrance was once sand and became mud when wet, this is now gravel and is less dusty. Recently the school court yard which was also very dusty and often muddy has been covered with woodchips.  The learners worked hard as they brought in the chips with wheelbarrows.  They worked in teams and they appreciate the change it has made.  Download the full report below.
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Ruitersbos Primary going green

Ruitersbos Primary going green

8/6/17
Despite the rain and foggy weather, everyone was keen and excited to go.  A brief introduction, guidelines and safety procedures was presented prior to departing as we waited for the rain to cease.  The aim of this introductory hike is to obtain a full buy-in from the learners to the concept of a green club.   For this reason the grade 6 and 7 learners of Ruitersbos Primary were invited to an introductory hike.  This hike enables the learners to experience a guided encounter with the natural environment.  It is important that this initial hike be close to their school and that it be an accessible walk for all the learners in terms of level of fitness.  It is also important that the hike includes a climb to a nearby koppie/hill where the whole town, including the school, is visible and in full sight. Read full report below.
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Badges for Butterflies

Badges for Butterflies

5/30/17
It is a great honor to wear a badge on a uniform.  The grade 6’s and 7’s of Vanwyksdorp's Green Butterflies received badges in recognition of their positions within the Green Clubs.  This was done with the aim of instilling a sense of pride, achievement, camaraderie and to promote recognized leadership within the school structure.  It will also allow the juniors to look up to their leaders and be inspired by them and aspire to become a leader too. Some learners had two as they form part of two working teams.  There was enormous pride as they were being called up to receive their badges. This is the first time for these learners - in fact it will be the first time the school has such an award.   We also handed out their Green Butterflies t-shirts.  These t’s and badges were kindly sponsored by LANDCARE OUDTSHOORN.   On Saturday, 20TH May 2017 the  Green Butterflies visited Gamkaberg World Heritage Site. This trip was done in conjunction with Cape Nature.  The main aim for this outing was to expose learners to a Nature Reserve, which is rich in biodiversity and wildlife.  The Green Butterflies are keen on starting a Botanical Garden at their school and it was important to see the botanical side of a nature reserve. Two third year interns Natasha and Annelize took the learners on a short hike to learn about karoo plant diversity and medicinal properties.  They also did a short presentation on plant types, how to identify plants, their classification and adaptations.  Nombu did a presentation on fire and fynbos.  The information centre was a highlight.  
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Vanwyksdorp Butterflies propagating spekboom

Vanwyksdorp Butterflies propagating spekboom

5/30/17
Recently the Green Butterflies together with their teacher Mr. Philander spent the afternoon at the Spekboom nursery in Vanwyksdorp.  The aim was to learn about the Spekboom and its role in the environment regarding carbon sequestration and how it is used to restore land. It is a very relevant topic as Vanwyksdorp is the home town of the Jobs 4 Carbon (J4C) project.  Many of the parents are engaged in the project.  The workshop was presented and prepared by Evelyn Pretorius, who is presently involved with J4C. They planted over 200 off cuts from cuttings used by the J4C team; these were planted into tins which they had collected.  They prepared the soil, tins, and cuttings.    There is much learning opportunity that can and may develop from this event. There are two new green clubs being established in the area and it would be a noble gesture to gift these “up and coming” green schools with Spekboom. 
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Herbertsdale Primary planning for a Green Club

Herbertsdale Primary planning for a Green Club

5/29/17
Green Clubs is a project where environmental clubs are initiated and supported at primary and secondary schools.  The aim is to encourage environmental leaders, promote sustainable living, and highlight local and global environmental issues through awareness campaigns. The Green Club will initiate local projects that will serve the school and community.  These projects have socio-economic effects on the community and tourism is one of the focus points.  On Thursday 5th of May we introduced the concept of an environmental club and instigated the need for leadership in our community.  The aim was to constitute a club with an elected committee and various teams to run the portfolios needed.  The main objective of the program is to allow full learning process; this enables responsible and accountable actions and consequences by the learners. Read more about this initiative in the report below.
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Butterflies camping in Vanwyksdorp

Butterflies camping in Vanwyksdorp

4/5/17
This year our annual planning camp took place at the school and the church hall. The Grade 6 learners were very excited about having the opportunity to join the green club.  They were taken through an orientation program so that they may understand the structure of the club. ART WORKSHOP – PAPIER-MÂCHÉ – RECYCLING AND REUSING – SKILLS TRAINING: We began with a papier-mâché workshop.  Art is an important part of developing confidence and a strong self-esteem. The learners were very receptive and enjoyed it very much.  The success of this activity is very high as the product is extremely good. Learners feel relaxed and a sense of achievement. It is also very inexpensive. Educators were also trained in other various applications.  HIKE TO SAN PAINTING SITE– CULTURAL HISTORY – GEOGRAPHY -  KNOWLEDGE: Early Saturday morning after breakfast we embarked on a hike that started from the church hall to a farm located around 7km down to the river.  Piet Gelderblom kindly allowed the children to visit a San painting site on his farm.  It is quite a unique site as the images are of fingerprints and other entoptic phenomena (abstract images).  The experience was quite remarkable as the children had never seen san paintings and nor expected them to be on the walls of the cave they leaned against on arrival.   As I began to explain how one can never tell what lies in these caves and that the paintings could be right behind them on the walls they were leaning on, there was a moment of absolute disbelief and suddenly they shot up and started looking intensely at the rock face.  
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Re-introducing the Green Butterflies

Re-introducing the Green Butterflies

4/5/17
 The Green Butterflies is a Green Club initiated in 2015 by Landmark Foundation. The Collaboration with Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve has made this project a resounding success. We have been sharing all their wonderful achievements on fb throughout the two years. These learners are dedicated and committed to changing the world. They started the year by bagging their pomegranates, cleaning up their bathrooms and sorting out their waste. This is so proactive and inspiring. Thanks to everyone involved in this operation including the J4C team! In the next weeks we will be having a two day camp to choose the leadership for 2017. We will keep you updated.  ONE BITE AT A TIME!!
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Success is in the hand of the people

Success is in the hand of the people

4/4/17
KOS IN DIE KAROO is a collaborative with the GCBR and was launched in in Vanwyksdorp in September 2016 at a gathering of community members interested in food gardens.  In our follow up visit in February 2017, we visited some of the sites where food gardens had been initiated.  It must be said that this community driven project relies on the will of the people.  If the community is not ready for a self-sustained life then it will not grow.  It needs the full commitment of the gardeners.   This project does not rely on a funder to make it happen. As project managers we can only give advice, assist with knowledge and bring seeds, trees etc. to the party.  The success is in the hand of the people. We visited the home of oom Japaulus Cloete. He seems to be very proactive about food. His garden is lush and has a large variety of vegetables as well as fruit trees and flowering plants.  Read the full report attached below.
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Butterflies meet penguins

Butterflies meet penguins

11/1/16
On Thursday 13th October the Grade 7’s from the Green Butterflies visited the Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre – SAPREC in Moss Industria, Mosselbay.  This visit coincided with National  African Penguin Awareness day which was also on the 13th of October.   The learners donated towels, washing powder, sunlight liquid, gloves etc. from their community and donated these to SAPREC.  This falls in line with the environmental structure which is being developed at the school through the Green Clubs.  This is a two way process whereby the learners have a wonderful experience not only by learning about animals but by also by giving and supporting them.  It raises the awareness in a more meaningful way. The full report can be downloaded below. It also provides an update on other activities that the Green Butterflies have been involved in during the 3rd term. 
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Green Butterflies pruning pomegranates

Green Butterflies pruning pomegranates

9/26/16
On Thursday the green butterflies had a workshop on pruning fruit trees. They have pomegranates along the fence at their school which had not been trimmed for years. A local pomegranate farmer came in to show the learners how to prune the trees. The school yard looks amazing as they all worked hard to prepare the trees for the summer. Read the full report...
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International Academy visits Vanwyksdorp area

International Academy visits Vanwyksdorp area

9/22/16
 Iala is an International Academy for Leadership through Adventure. The academy is run as a one year course aimed at bridging the gap from high school to varsity. It is based in Stillbaai but the “classes” travel through South Africa. The outdoor adventure is aimed at developing leadership, transferring life-long skills and empowering the students with practical knowledge, and through the travel experiences, new values are instilled. The program is environmentally conscious. 
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Hike to koppie near Herbertsdale inspiring

Hike to koppie near Herbertsdale inspiring

9/5/16
 A collaborative between Herbertsdale Primary School, Landmark Foundation, Gondwana Game Reserve and the GCBR (Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve) has been established in order to provide the learners of Herbertsdale Primary with the opportunity to participate in an environmental program at their school.  This initiative is part of the broader vision of implementing structured, sustainable and inspiring green clubs within the Eden District.   Read the full report. 
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Leaders trained at Vanwyksdorp Primary School

Leaders trained at Vanwyksdorp Primary School

7/5/16
Two intense 2-day workshops were held on 6&7 and 20&21 April 2016 in order to activate and initiate leadership qualities within the grade 6 and 7 learners of Van Wyksdorp Primary, these learners form part of the Green Butterflies, a green club established in 2015. The aim of this intense training was to maximize the training time in order to put these structures into place soonest. The following Leadership structures were initiated in this year’s planning camp @Rooiberg Lodge: Librarians, Bathroom monitors, Waste management team, Notice board managers, Greeters, Spekboom team, Green club committee, and a  Media team.
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Year planning and brainstorming camp

Year planning and brainstorming camp

7/5/16
The Green Butterflies are in their second year.  The principal Mr Danvil, is keen on continuing with the green club as he has seen the value it has brought to the school.  The learners continue to be enthusiastic and have become more aware of their environment. The aim of the annual planning and brainstorming camp from 17-18 March 2016 is to introduce the new incumbents (all the grade 6’s) to the green club as well as to plan the year ahead.  We use the WESSA Environmental Calendar to plot down all the environmental days onto the year planner.  This will assist greatly in planning outings, awareness campaigns etc. This can also be used by the school to plan events etc. around it. The education program this year will consist of creating opportunities for leadership by providing and setting up mechanisms where the learners can become fully involved in leadership roles. This structure will give way for the learners to become active, responsible and take ownership of themselves and their school.
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Green Butterflies fluttering at Vanwyksdorp Primary

Green Butterflies fluttering at Vanwyksdorp Primary

7/5/16
The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) invited Landmark Foundation during March 2015, to participate in an education program on the Jobs for Carbon Project. Vanwyksdorp Primary is a rural school in this small town of the Little Karoo and was chosen for this pilot project. This collaborative partnership, as consulted with Landmark Foundation and adopted by the GCBR, forms part of Landmark Foundation’s Green Projects, which aims to establish “Green Clubs” at schools. The establishment of these clubs will form an important part of changing communities and their attitude toward the environment, workin g with a small group of learners within a school will grow and expand outward into the community and into the environment. The program will endeavour achieve its outcomes by transferring SKILLS, imparting KNOWLEDGE, changing ATTITUDES and instilling VALUES.
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 Kinders leer by poppe oor spekbome

Kinders leer by poppe oor spekbome

4/27/16
 Leerders van tien laerskole in die Klein Karoo is sedert die begin van die skooljaar bekend gestel aan Spekkies, ‘n poppeteater wat aangebied word deur Paul en Marina Eilers.
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Spekkiesgids vertel als oor spekbome

Spekkiesgids vertel als oor spekbome

5/18/16
Om meer te leer oor Spekboom, die wonderplant van die Gouritz Biosfeerreservaat, is daar die 'Spekkiesgids' om deur te werk. Dit is deur Marina Eilers vir die 'Jobs 4 Carbon' projek saamgestel. Die gids bevat leersame inligting, 'n lekker rympie, twee oulike liedjies, 'n paar blokraaisels, woordskommels en slim idees vir doen-dinge. Nadat jy deur hierdie gids gewerk het, sal jy ongetwyfeld sommer baie slimmer wees oor hierdie wonderplant.      
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Vanwyksdorp School Camp

Vanwyksdorp School Camp

4/27/16
 Landmark Foundation was invited to participate in an education program with Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) on the Jobs for Carbon Project currently running in the Rooiberg region. Vanwyksdorp Primary is a rural school in this small town of Little Karoo. The group we are currently working with consists of about 27 learners from grade 6-7.
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