part of the solution

eco-cubby for anglesea primary school
Year four students at Anglesea Primary School spent part of last month working alongside architects from Melbourne to design an environmentally friendly 'Eco-Cubby' for their school’s playground. 

This project is thanks to Alcoa Anglesea’s ongoing partnership with Regional Arts Victoria (RAV).

One of RAV’s aims is to bring quality arts experiences to students in regional Victoria, with its Eco-Cubby Program more than fitting this brief.

Ten Victorian schools participated in a pilot program in 2009, with Anglesea Primary School one of only ten schools across Victoria to participate this year.

Eco-Cubby is a workshop program for children that places architects and designers in schools and communities to promote the concept of sustainable design.

Through the development of an Eco-Cubby, children engage in challenging dialogue to learn about, build awareness of, and take action for sustainable living.

Two Melbourne architects volunteered to work with Anglesea Primary School students on their project, spending over 20 hours with the teachers and students.

The project team discussed sustainable living practices and how these practices relate to their local environment. They then designed and constructed an architectural Eco-Cubby model.

Adding a unique twist to this innovative learning opportunity, the Anglesea Primary School Eco-Cubby won’t remain just a model.  It is destined to 'come to life' to an actual cubby house.

Alcoa Anglesea has awarded Anglesea Primary School an Alcoa Foundation ACTION grant of US$3,000 and 40 hours of volunteer labour. The school community will work with Alcoa volunteers to build a replica of the Eco-Cubby model when the new school site opens in 2011.

On the same day as the Alcoa Foundation grant, Alcoa also presented the primary school with its own 'Make an Impact' toolkit.  This Toolkit was created by Alcoa and long-time environmental partner Greening Australia, and contains a range of tools to measure a household’s environmental footprint. This means students will be able to test their new sustainable living knowledge in their own homes.

School Principal, Pamela Sandlant, said: “The learning outcomes for our children from an experience like this are immense. They develop their research, writing and numeracy skills, they have to problem solve, come up with creative design solutions, work as a team, use IT skills, interact with industry professionals, and more!

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and we’re grateful to Alcoa for choosing us to participate,” Pamela said.

The Anglesea Primary School students’ Eco-Cubby model will be exhibited at ArtPlay (City of Melbourne) in January/February 2011 to coincide with the Sustainable Living Festival.

tree planting near wagerup
7000 trees have been planted in several landscape restoration projects north of Yarloop, near our Wagerup Refinery, thanks to the hard work of local community members and employees from Alcoa, Greening Australia, the South West Catchments Council (SWCC) and the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce.

Greening Australia’s Thelma Crook said: “The trees were planted at a site known as Bancell Brook, an important part of the larger Peel-Harvey BioLinks project which aims to create biodiversity corridors from the Indian Ocean to the Darling Scarp.”

Bancell Brook is located on Alcoa Farmlands with on-ground activities supported by the South West Catchments Council’s Coastal Environment Program, and funding for seedlings and site preparation from the Australian Government’s Caring For Our Country initiative.

“It’s fantastic to see the community getting involved in such a valuable project,” SWCC’s Jamie Wright said.

“The benefits to the local environment and adjoining waterways will be significant and ongoing.”

“It was a fantastic effort with a good cross section of people, including a number of children that planted all day,” said Greening Australia’s Martin von Kaschke.

The planting day kicked off from the newly established Alcoa Landcare Education Centre at Kaus Road Yarloop, where Greening Australia is in the process of establishing a permanent office base which will help the organisation to conduct more regular environmental events in the local region – also getting schools, environment groups and the general public more involved.

“As the largest landowner in the district, it’s very important to Alcoa that we are involved in local natural resource management projects, and partnering with the key agencies that deliver the on-ground results,” said Alcoa’s Scott Hansen.

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7000 trees were planted recently in the Yarloop area near our Wagerup Refinery. Scroll down for full story.