Students are taking their anti-littering messages to the street as part of the ‘Zero Litter in Georges River’ program developed by Georges Riverkeeper with funding from the Australian Government.
A group of six primary schools in Como, Minto, Wattle Grove, Bossley Park, Connells Point and Padstow Park are taking part in the program which provides environmental education, aligned to the NSW curriculum, about stormwater pollution, and encourages students to look for solutions to reduce litter flowing to the Georges River.
As part of the project, students create designs for artworks to be painted on local footpaths near storm drains, and the students star in the campaign videos, helping to teach their community.
Georges Riverkeeper Program Manager Scott Reyes said, “Most of the pollution in the Georges River flows there through a network of connected stormwater pits and pipes, so we need to stop waste, litter and pollution from ending up in the local street and carpark gutter.”
Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce welcomed the initiative and praised Como Public school students for their creative contributions to the campaign.
“It’s great to see enthusiastic youngsters taking a keen interest in learning more about their local environment and helping to play their part in protecting the Georges River,” Mayor Pesce said.
“We are fortunate here in the Sutherland Shire to be surrounded by beautiful waterways that not only support local wildlife, but also provide incredible recreational opportunities for our whole community to enjoy.
“Council is delighted to support this collaborative project which will encourage further awareness of the importance of keeping our parks, streets, and waterways healthy and clean for generations to come.”
The street art developed for the campaign features the innovative use of Augmented Reality technology which allows passersby to scan a QR code to interact with a virtual long-neck turtle called ‘Zero’, one of the native animals found in the river that is threatened by pollution.
‘Zero Litter in Georges River’ lessons were developed in collaboration with Georges River Environment Education Centre are available for any school to access for free via a google site.
The first pieces of street art appeared at Como Pleasure Grounds this week, and Como Public School students’ video message has been first to go live on the project website; more will to follow across the Georges River catchment over the coming six months as the schools complete the education program with the support of local Councils.
Schools and Councils involved in the project are Como Public School, Sarah Redfern Public School, Wattle Grove Public School, Bossley Park Public School, Connells Point Public School, Padstow Park Public School, Sutherland Shire Council, Campbelltown City Council, Liverpool City Council, Fairfield City, Georges River Council, and City of Canterbury Bankstown.
To find out more about the project and lessons go to zerolitter.georgesriver.org.au
This project received funding from the Australian Government.