Blue Mountains City Council

School Environment Network

Connecting Kids, Creeks and Catchments
Connecting Kids, Creeks and Catchments is a hands-on environmental learning program, developed by Council, and run in partnership with local schools and Early Years Learning Centres (EYLCs).

Inspiring the next generation
Our goal is to inspire the next generation – by connecting them to our special Blue Mountains environment and fostering their natural love of nature.

In a learning experience unique to our City within a World Heritage Area, we offer young people the opportunity to explore their local water catchment, learn why it’s special and take action to protect it.

See our program in Action
For community - Taking local kids outdoors
For teachers - Outdoor learning across the curriculum

Healthy children – healthy waterways
Studies show that kids who connect regularly with nature are healthier and happier.
They also become more environmentally responsible adults.

We aspire to:

  • Healthy children and young people – every child and young person connects regularly with nature, and learns to care for and respect the natural areas in their backyards. 
  • Healthy waterways - every child and young person develops water literacy and acts to protect our waterways.

Rich, meaningful learning
The program offers a meaningful way to engage across the curriculum – helping to capture
students’ imaginations and make environmental studies come alive.

Starting with each school and their context, we offer:

  • Rich, meaningful, purpose-driven learning in the outside environment.
  • Environmental education integrated into the curriculum. 
  • Opportunities for teachers to build their professional skills, knowledge and confidence to reconnect kids with nature.

Meeting school needs
We work closely with each school and EYLC, to develop a tailored program that uses the school backyard and local bushland corridors as the ‘third teacher’.

Options include:

  • Professional learning and development 
  • A whole school/centre approach 
  • A one one-off immersion day - Bioblitz and creek crawl 
  • Connection with in-school mindfulness, well-being and resilience programs 
  • Learning conducted as a hub 
  • Creek/catchment crawls 
  • Habitat assessment, environmental monitoring and bushland restoration - citizen science 
  • Commitment to more sustainable practices, such as stormwater management 
  • The program used as a piece of action research 
  • The program designed to be connected to a whole school priority 
  • Commitment to custodianship

What teachers say
(Your) project has particularly captured the imagination of our Catchment Club. They are well aware that we live in the midst of a World Heritage park and have seen first-hand how sustainable practices can reduce their impact. The enthusiasm of the students has been infectious, and we are pleased to involve them in a program that further connects them to our place and gives agency and meaning to their actions.

Teacher, Katoomba Public School

What students say
“We’re doing stuff that really means something – not just learning for the sake of it.”

Student testimonial

Contact us
Environmental Education Officers, Healthy Waterways Team:

Jenny Hill
jhill@bmcc.nsw.gov.au  
t: 4780 5739

Emma Kennedy
ekennedy@bmcc.nsw.gov.au  
t: 4780 5788