Tatachilla Lutheran College values the importance of teaching ‘sustainable’ principles and is committed to increasing students’ awareness of how natural systems work. The following are some of the environmental initiatives run by the College.
National Tree Day
All Junior School students are involved in National Tree Day for Schools each year. Selected Middle School students play an active leadership role during the week where around 600 native seedlings are planted in the EcoClassroom.
Many native plant species used in revegetation projects around the College are propagated by members of the Student Environment Council and Conservation Land Management in the Propagation Shed onsite. Tatachilla Lutheran College works in partnership with the Willunga branch of Trees for Life, hosting their annual distribution day where boxes of propagation materials are handed out for preordered community revegetation projects.
The 4.5 megalitre Retention Pond can be seen as visitors enter the College through the main gate. Stormwater is directed to the pond through a series of swales during winter. The water is then used to irrigate College ovals and gardens.
Three tree lots, made up of a number of Eucalypt species, have been planted since the inception of Tatachilla Lutheran College. The school is not connected to a traditional sewerage system, and consequently all waste water is stored and treated on site. This treated water is then used to irrigate the two remaining woodlots. Rangers from Cleland Wildlife Park harvest the growing leaves from the Eucalypt plants as a food source for their koalas. Manna Gums, specifically chosen to support Cleland, are currently being propagated for the new tree lot to be planted in 2017.
Students in Year 6 have the opportunity to be involved in caring for the College chickens. This includes daily feed and water checks and regular maintenance of the chicken house and yard.
Selected Junior School classes are involved in the incubating of eggs and caring for new hatchings of chicks as part of curricular and co-curricular activities.
Students in Year 5 have the opportunity to be involved in regular vegetable garden sessions where they participate in the annual garden cycle of planting, weeding and harvesting of a range of biodynamic produce. A number of fruit trees are found in the Eco area of the College.
There is also a weekly Garden Club where students are invited to share their lunch with other like- minded students while they assist in garden activities.
The Student Environment Council is also involved in the day to day running of the vegetable garden and the chicken program.
Student Environment Council
The Student Environment Council meets once a week to undertake a variety of hands-on activities in a relaxed atmosphere with like-minded students. They are involved in a number of areas throughout the College including recycling, chickens, vegetable garden, bettong bucket monitors, propagation, environmental forums, promotion of EcoAction at Assemblies, leadership (kids teaching kids) and visits to the EcoClassroom.
In an effort to reduce its carbon output, the College produces just under 100kWh of power through solar panels located on the Gymnasium and the Science 1 Building.
Where possible, buildings have north-south orientation. Lighting in many rooms have 1/3 and 2/3 switches allowing staff to choose the amount of light needed. They are also on sensors, ensuring lights do not stay on when rooms are not in use. Air conditioners are on 2 hourly auto timers.
Tatachilla Lutheran College has a comprehensive recycling program. This deliberate waste management strategy assists greatly with the reduction of College waste going to landfill.
All classrooms, teaching spaces and staff areas have paper recycling bins which are collected by students on a weekly basis. This is collected by Suez for recycling into paper products.
Additional recycling programs include W-Waste, batteries, light bulbs and ink cartridges.
Deposit container bins are strategically located throughout the College. The 10c containers are collected weekly and sorted by teams of Middle School students. Money collected from this recycling program is donated to a charity of the students’ choice and an end of year fun activity for the students and staff involved.
Leftover recess and lunch scraps from the Junior School are collected daily by ‘Bettong Bucket’ monitors. These scraps are then fed to fauna residing in the EcoClassroom.
In conjunction with the College’s green waste, organic waste at the College, including paper hand towels, are collected daily. It is then collected by Jefferies and used in the production of compost products.
To reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill, the College has an additional dry waste bin. The contents are processed to form a ‘fluff’ which is used as an industrial fuel.
Softfoot Marsupial Sanctuary Partnership
In 2017 there will be an exciting new partnership between Softfoot Marsupial Sanctuary and Tatachilla Lutheran College where students will be involved in breeding and all aspects of long term management of endangered species. This includes Brush-tailed Bettongs, Spotted Quolls and Southern-brown Bandicoots. Students will have the opportunity to help with the care and eventual release of these endangered species into the wild offering a greater awareness about the current state of our environment and its ability to hold habitat.