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1993 Pilot project  
1 Region 3 schools 

Partnership between Hamilton City Council (HCC), Environment Waikato (now called Waikato Regional Council), The Community Environmental Programme (CEP) and 3 schools looking at how Environmental Education could be integrated into school life.

1998 – 2001 Enviroschools framework development  
2 Regions 12 schools

HCC employed their first Environmental Education Officer who led a team to develop the Enviroschools Programme. Schools from Waikato and Bay of Plenty experimented and trialed activities, and a founding partnership with Te Mauri Tau supported the development of the guiding principles and first Enviroschools Kit and facilitator training programme. With funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund the programme became available nationwide. The programme was officially launched in June 2001 at Hamilton East school.

2002 – 2003 National Partnership Building   
10 regions 120 schools

The NZAEE acted as host as the programme                                 View our Journey Picture in more detail
moved from HCC to a national structure, with The Enviroschools Foundation being established in 2003. Discussions with councils resulted in the development of an organisational structure based on Regional Coordination and local facilitation, and partnership with councils across the country supported facilitators to be trained and schools to sign up.

The Enviroschools Awards scheme was developed, introducing Bronze, Silver and Green-Gold levels to the Enviroschools sustainability journey.

2004 -2006 Growth in Capacity  
12 Regions 420 schools

Increasing regional networks supporting huge growth in the number of participating schools. Regional networking events began to be developed to support the growing numbers of schools joining the programme, and the first Green-Gold Enviroschools emerged and became role models for other schools. The programme began development into the Early Years and Secondary sectors.

2007 – 2012 Deepening and Extending into Community 
15 Regions 660 schools 60 ECE centres

The Enviroschools Kit was revised to incorporate the experience that had developed in the network. This included revising the ‘Awards’ scheme to become a whole school reflection process, more into line with the Enviroschools philosophy of empowerment.

National Youth Jams were held for secondary school students in ‘07 and ‘08 which spurred regions to run regional jams after that. ReGeneration, a post-school network, was formed and the first Summer Jam held.

International enquiries led to Enviroschools working with people from Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Australia and later Argentina.

The withdrawal of Central Government funding in 2009 created a challenging time for the Foundation, and the Enviroschools national team reduced its support to the regions. The size and strength of the regional networks maintained the programme until central government funding was restored in 2012.

2012 – 2015 Strengthening National Support and Building Regional Capacity  
16 Regions 750 schools 200 ECE centres

Rebuilt capacity in the national team and restored a range of services that had been on hold.

Developed and began undertaking a multi-level evaluation of the Enviroschools programme nationwide.
Initiated a regional capacity building fund that enables inter-regional support and sharing and increases the ability of regions to provide wider support for Enviroschools in their region.

Worked with specific regions on ‘frontrunner’ projects to develop innovative ideas that have potential to contribute to the programme nationally.

The Enviroschools Foundation 10th Birthday Celebration

On Wednesday 18th January 2012 Enviroschools celebrated its 10th Birthday!   We had a wonderful night with friends, family, regional and national partners. It was fabulous to share our journey over the past decade and we all look forward to the next ten.

Read about what Associate Education Minister and Māori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said about the night here