Environmental education promotes critical and creative thinking skills and inspires children to become more engaged with their communities. In schools it helps students understand why the environment is important and provides them with the building blocks they need to live eco-friendly and sustainable lives.
One of the major issues that environmental education addresses is the loss of biodiversity. And what better way to inspire children to care for the environment, help them understand the meaning of biodiversity and to fuel their curiosity but to create a butterfly garden (or habitat).
As Bianca Woyak (winner of the 2021 Prime Minister’s Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaaho Putaiao Science Teacher’s Prize) says, it’s a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving and take action to improve the environment in their own backyard. Students develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and are equipped with the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.
Many people think that a “butterfly garden” means a swan plant to encourage monarch butterflies. And in fact, many New Zealanders are not aware of our beautiful native species of butterflies and what can be planted to attract them and aid in their conservation. They do not know what plants are required for our NZ species of butterflies and moths. They don’t understand the conditions that make for an ideal butterfly habitat.
This is something the MBNZT is keen to address, through this new award for the best school butterfly garden or habitat. It is an exciting initiative, and we are delighted that Daltons is fully in support. The winner each term will receive a $200 Daltons Product Prize Pack for their garden to help everything grow.
A school butterfly garden or habitat can touch on all areas of the school curriculum: language, art, health and physical education, mathematics, science, technolgy, music and drama - in fact for learning, it opens up a world of opportunities. The habitat becomes an outdoor classroom! You can read more about that in the Education Gazette.
Download the application form and submit it as soon as possible to be considered for the first award. We look forward to hearing from you. And, most of all, we thank Daltons for their ongoing support and making this award possible.
Permission Slip (for caregiver/s)