Tucked away in Tasmanian towns are some of the best schools you could ever imagine and Snug Primary School in southern Tasmania is up there with the best in the country. The garden lured me there and I was not disappointed.The school is on 6.13 hectares of land with around 300 students.
The Snug River runs through the school property and is perfect for Three Billy Goats Gruff drama not to mention various nature study observations.
There are lots of playing spaces and a community fitness track as well as an outdoor learning area where students go for philosophy classes and to read with their buddies. The grounds are landscaped with natives and there are veggie boxes in amongst the fenced areas.
It was great to go there as the old school was one of the few surviving buildings after the 1967 Black Tuesday bushfires in southern Tasmania.
I was at boarding school in Hobart at the time and I remember the horror in the school as news came in that Snug was on fire and that people had taken refuge in the school.
So it was terrific to see that when the old school was in part demolished to make way for new buildings that bricks were placed in the new paved area with the names and messages of those with a strong attachment to the school.
I arrived with my fruit trees and the students had already dug the holes in the orchard where they have an excellent range of new and old varieties. In the background was Suellen Procter, a wonderful parent volunteer without whom so much of what is done would not be achieved. These volunteers need a medal.
The orchard is next door to a paddock sown down with a green manure crop and the Stephanie Alexander garden is designed and ready to be planted. The school chooks scratch and fossick in the orchard where their shed and laying boxes are also located.
The Prep students in 2009 hatched out the chickens and now in Grade 1 the same students feed them and collect the eggs. In their classroom I saw some lovely paintings of their chooks. They have Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks and a black one of unknown breed
The school has built a new kitchen, dining and activities centre with Commonwealth funding and it is there that the students will cook the food they grow.
With sustainability to the fore as the philosophy of the school, the Principal, Maureen McKeown has been successful in attracting grant funding for solar energy, and water efficiency right down to waterless urinals. Snug is an Aussie Sustainable School and doesn’t it make you proud.