Prügelsteg, © Horst Dolak

Nature Park School

NNÖMS Heidenreichstein

Since session 2011/12 an intensive cooperation between New Secondary School Heidenreichstein and Nature Park Heidenreichsteiner Moor has been established. The students‘ works are presented in exhibitions, projects and in the media. As independent and open learning is regarded as a teaching principle, a fixed period of time concerning “school and Nature Park“ is supplied. An intensification of this topic is provided by the Nature Park through additional learning units. Every grade organizes two project days per year with varying focal points in the Nature Park. On Friday before the Easter holidays there is an action day, a workshop covering the approach to nature and environment directly at the school. Lecturers from various commercial branches and the team of the Nature Park are invited. Thereof result further projects which are later presented  to the public at large, in presentations respectively portfolios, during the school festival. Samples determined for the work and future collaboration are provided to the Nature Park to be lionised there. During Nature Park workshops, the students‘ parents are asked to actively participate and assist their kids.

The educational objective is to boost the students‘ environmental awareness, to encourage their mindfulness in dealing with nature and to convey the huge responsibility of each and every individual in today’s man-made environment. At the same time, both a holistic view of these relationships and the curious glance through the microscope, revealing the smallest building blocks of life, are equally important.

In January 2018, a workshop of project supervisors, directors and managers of Nature Park schools from three federal states – Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Salzburg – took place. Dr. Uwe Kozina from the Styrian centre of environmental education explained the criteria and procedure of evaluating Nature Park schools. They must be within a Nature Park borough, teach nature and regional awareness and consider Nature Park-relevant topics. In addition a set of criteria must be met which incorporate the general orientation of the school, teaching goals, learning objectives and required resolutions of the school and the community. The intensive cooperation of schools and Nature Parks, particularly in projects and action days, is a priority. This evaluation was passed once again in all aspects.

The qualified contact person and coordinator in our Nature Park school is Mrs Verena Ruso.