Tweed Shire Council offers a range of free educational tours and speaking engagements for Tweed schools, learning institutions and community groups. They range from a full Environmental Education Program, developed in accordance with the NSW Board of Studies’ curriculum outcomes, to tours of Council facilities and talks about various projects, programs and local government.
Schools can also get invovled in various competitions and events, which will be listed here when available or on the Tweed River Festival page.
Environmental Education Program
Tweed Shire Council’s Environmental Education Program (649kB PDF)
covers topics relating to sustainability, waste, water and biodiversity. It links to the current NSW primary school curriculum, however high school and tertiary groups are also welcome to book from this program as activities can be tailored to suit different age groups and learning outcomes. Bookings are essential by phoning Tweed Shire Council on (02) 6670 2400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, fill in the Booking Request Form (70kB PDF)
and Council’s Environmental Education Officer will be in contact to confirm your visit.
The Sustainable Living Centre
The Sustainable Living Centre is Council's environmental education centre, constructed as part of the Kingscliff Wastewater Treatment Plant, on Altona Road (off Crescent Street) at Cudgen. It is only open by group booking and has been designed as an education centre for school and tertiary groups, community groups and Council-related workshops. Public open days are scheduled throughout the year during certain events (eg. Tweed River Festival) with these openings advertised in Council's weekly newspaper, the Tweed Link.
The centre's goal is to inspire the adoption of sustainable behaviours within the community, and this is done through audio visuals, an interactive touch screen that people can use to calculate their carbon footprint and interactive light box displays. The centre also has a range of sustainable building features, some of these include energy efficient lighting, water-wise taps, toilets flushed with rainwater collected on site, chairs made from recycled printer cartridges and recycled electronic waste (e-waste) and tables made from plantation timber by a local carpenter. Topics covered in centre displays include:
- Water treatment processes (wastewater and drinking water) and being water-wise;
- Water management issues;
- Waste – waste collection services, the waste hierarchy and reduction of waste to landfills;
- Climate change; and
- Energy and transport.
Follow Wheelie the Green Waste Wheelie bin around the centre to check out some of the displays! Groups wishing to book a visit can contact Council's Environmental Education Officer on (02) 6670 2400 or by email at email@example.com
An interactive light box highlights our Urban Water Cycle
Use the touch screen to calculate your carbon footprint
Learn about the Waste Hierarchy
Members of a tour calcualting their carbon footprint
A school group learning about sustainability
Students learning about local Flora and Fauna
Catchment Activity Model (CAM)
The Catchment Activity Model is available for educational groups to view at the Sustainable Living Centre.
CAM is a 3D working model of a catchment with a flowing river that becomes increasingly polluted as a number of simulations are carried out with the assistance of the students. Its purpose is to help educate students about the environmental impact of seemingly harmless day-to-day activities and how simple it is to change these activities to reduce environmental harm.
It allows students to follow the path of stormwater as it flows down the gutter, through the stormwater system and into the river and also where waste-water goes after it disappears down the toilet and bathroom plug-holes. CAM also communicates a wide range of land management issues including agricultural and industrial pressures on the catchment, and the important role that mangrove forests, riparian vegetation and wildlife corridors play in maintaining ecological health.
Being interactive and visual, CAM helps students to:
- Develop an appreciation for how everything in the environment is interconnected.
- Understand how their own actions and those of others affect the environment.
- Understand the importance of behaviour change to help protect the environment.
- Identify ways they can alter their own behaviours to help protect the environment.
Water and Wastewater Education
School and community groups are able to book tours of Council's Water Treatment facilities through the Environmental Education Program. Open Days during special events also enable the community to visit and learn how their water is treated. Groups are accompanied by an experienced officer who will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Groups larger than 25 people will be broken up into smaller groups with each being supervised separately.