This is the most environmentally friendly school in Rostock

downtown.While Liah was rocking in her chair, she was surveying the ballroom at Rostock City Hall with her wide brown eyes. The gaze wanders from the stately chandeliers to the gleaming piano to the meter-high harp and back – until the man on the stage interrupts the nine-year-old.

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Read more after the announcement

“We all know that the past few years have not been easy for young people,” says Holger Matthaus, Senator for Infrastructure, Environment and Construction. “We are very pleased that the award also goes to a school.” Children’s joy can also be heard and seen: some look in disbelief at the people sitting next to them, others put their hands in front of their faces.

Rostock City Environmental Prize: the school wins 3,500 euros

With the environmental award, the Hanseatic city set itself the goal of honoring outstanding achievements in voluntary nature conservation. According to the plan, this will contribute to dealing with the climate on the one hand and overcoming problems on the other. The award is given every two years and means that the winners have €3,500 at their disposal.

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Read more after the announcement

The money is usually returned to education, because the participants are mainly schools and environmental and nature protection groups. The city council has, in advance, invited interested parties to submit their projects in the areas of soil, water, climate, air, vitality and species protection as well as energy saving and waste prevention.

Eight applicants have registered an interest in the Hanseatic City Environmental Award by the March application deadline. The jury included seven of them in the evaluation according to the “Law on Honoring Distinguished Persons by the Hanseatic City of Rostock”. In addition to the non-profit association of friends and sponsors of the Wiethagen Forest and Coal Farm, her chosen winner is an educational institution from Rostock, the primary school at Mühlenteich in Evershagen.

“I’m an animal lover, climate protection is important to me”

There, the enthusiasm about the award is as great as the concern for the environment: it is a model school for sustainable development. “We talk a lot about nature, and we take care of insects or our animals,” says nine-year-old Hafsa. In other words: children learn from vivid examples how rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles are taken care of.

Nine-year-old Hafsa feeds primary school rabbits by the mill pond.

This sometimes has unexpected positive side effects: “When Mrs. Lau said Mama Hussey was going to have children soon, she immediately asked if we were going to take some of her,” says Etienne. “I’m an animal lover, so climate protection is also important to me.”

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Read more after the announcement

Evershagen: Animals get vegetables from the school garden

Sometimes the four-legged friends who are at home at school feed the kids with fruits and vegetables from the school garden. There they grow carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, cucumbers and lettuce, for example. “That’s really cool, not everyone has that,” says Leah. Classmate Mia Lotta takes a sober look at the whole thing: “Thanks to the potatoes, we always have lunch there,” she says. But her heart beats for the so-called Nachgarten, where strawberries grow – because she finds the name funny.

Mia (9 years old), Elias (9) and Teresa (9) take care of the plants in the raised beds.

Mia (9 years old), Elias (9) and Teresa (9) take care of the plants in the raised beds.

Susan Haynes appreciates the fact that animal and plant breeding does well in school: “Special ideas like an insect hotel smiled at the beginning,” says the principal. It also thanks the participating adults for their commitment. “From the caretaker to the official vet – they all deserve credit.”

“Select the path to a climate-friendly future”

The environmental senator also stressed how important their concern was on Thursday afternoon at Rostock’s Town Hall. He thanks everyone who has applied for the Environmental Award. “This sets the course for a climate-friendly future in our livable city,” says Holger Matthaus.

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Read more after the announcement

Sustainability will likely continue to play a major role in the lives of school children in the future. After all, it has to do with their living conditions – and how future generations will go. For now, the moment is often the key: “For example, we were happy to see bumblebees in front of the town hall today,” says Etienne. The nine-year-old knows that without them there would be no functioning ecosystem.

Written by Jessica Orlovitch

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