This is the most eco-friendly school in Rostock

center.As Liah rocks the chair, she examines the ballroom in Rostock City Hall with her large, brown eyes. The gaze wanders from the pompous chandeliers to the shining piano to the meter-high harp and back – until the man on the podium interrupts the nine-year-old.

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“We all know that the last few years have not been easy for young people,” said Holger Matthäus, senator for infrastructure, environment and construction. “We are all the more happy that the award also goes to a school.” The joy of the children can also be heard and seen: some of them look in disbelief at people sitting next to them, others put their hands in front of their faces.

Environmental award in the city of Rostock: school wins 3500 euros

With the environmental award, Hansestaden has set itself the goal of honoring outstanding achievements in voluntary nature conservation. According to the plan, it helps to deal with the climate on the one hand and to overcome the problems on the other. The prize is awarded every two years and means that the winners have 3,500 euros available.

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The money usually goes back to education, because the participants are mainly schools, environmental and nature protection groups. The town hall encouraged interested parties in advance to submit their projects in the areas of soil, water, climate, air, biotope and species protection as well as energy saving and waste prevention.

Eight applicants registered an interest in Hansestadens environmental award by the submission deadline in March. The jury included seven of them in the evaluation in accordance with the “Statute on Honoring Distinguished Personalities by the Hanseatic City of Rostock”. In addition to the non-profit association of friends and sponsors of the forest and coal farm Wiethagen, the winner she chose is an educational institution from Rostock, the primary school in Mühlenteich in Evershagen.

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

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

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

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

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Evershagen: Animals get vegetables from the school garden

The four-legged friends who are at home at school sometimes feed the children fruit and vegetables from the school garden. There they grow, for example, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, cucumbers and lettuce. “It’s really cool, not everyone has it,” Liah says. Classmate Mia Lotta has a pragmatic view of it all: “Thanks to the potatoes, we always have lunch there,” she says. But her heart beats for the so-called Naschgarten, where the strawberries grow – because she thinks the name is funny.

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

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

Susanne Heinz appreciates that animal and plant breeding works so well in the school: “Especially ideas like the insect hotel were smiled at in the beginning,” says the school head. She also thanks the adults involved for their commitment. “From the caretaker to the official veterinarian – they all deserve recognition.”

“Set course for a climate-friendly future”

The environmental senator also stressed how important their concern is Thursday afternoon at Rostock City Hall. He thanks everyone who has applied for the environmental award. “This sets the course for a climate-friendly future in our lively city,” says Holger Matthäus.

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Sustainability will probably continue to play a major role in the lives of school children in the future. It’s about their living conditions – and how future generations will cope. At the moment, however, it is often the moment that counts: “For example, we were happy to see bumble bees in front of City Hall today,” says Etienne. The nine-year-old knows that without them, there would be no functioning ecosystem.

By Jessica Orlowicz

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