PHOTOGRAPHER: ZOE PHILLIPS
PHOTOGRAPHER: ZOE PHILLIPS

Up to $1500 splash for veggie gardens in Maranoa schools

Young school students across the Maranoa could have an opportunity to grow some bush tucker as part of a new program being run by Woolworths.

Primary schools and early learning centres across the region can apply for a Bee Bonus, as part of a $1.5 million investment by Woolworths into the Junior Landcare Grants Program.

Up to a thousand grants are being offered, for up to $1,000 each.

Recipients in Maranoa can use the grant to grow a vegetable or bush tucker garden, composting, worm farm or other environmental projects in their schools and communities, which could help educate the younger generation about the importance of the environment.

The Bee Bonus offers $500 of extra funding on top of the $1000 to support the conservation of Australia's bee population.

Over 17 million hectares of Australian forest is believed to have been destroyed in the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis, resulting in a negative impact on the ability of honey bees to provide pollination services to Australian crops and horticulture.

With bees and pollination a crucial part of the horticultural and agricultural industry in Australia, schools and early learning centres can use the Bee Bonus in the development of native beehives, pollinator gardens or bee education programs.

The contribution will help schools to do their part to support bees so they can continue their good work in the environment.

Woolworths Roma store manager Adrian Dean said the program is about inspiring Aussie environmental champions in the Maranoa.

"The Bee Bonus puts the spotlight on the impact honey bees and native bees have on our ecosystem, creating awareness and encouraging positive action," Mr Dean said.

"The grants help deliver programs that not only educate younger generations on how to be more environmentally conscious, but also get Maranoa students hands-on and directly supporting the growth of a sustainable, greener future.

"If we work together, we can help support growth of flora and fauna so that bees can continue their vital role in supporting our agricultural systems and improving biodiversity."

 

What it's all about

Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant projects focus on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices or enhancing native habitats such as vegetable gardens, recycling initiatives and native habitat enhancement and Indigenous perspectives.

Landcare Australia CEO Shane Norrish said the program helps students share knowledge and foster connections between place and community.

"The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program encourages continuous participation from childhood to adulthood so that the children of today, become the landcarers of the future," Dr Norrish said.

"Bees and pollination are integral to our environment and the new Bee Bonus will help grow Maranoa students' understanding of our native habitats, why bees are an important part of our ecosystem and their role in fresh food production and supporting biodiversity through pollination."

The investment is the largest number of Junior Landcare grants offered in one round to date. Woolworths has also contributed more than $1 million to a total of 1,155 primary schools and early learning centres across Australia since 2018.

The program is funded through purchases of the Woolworths Bag for Good, an initiative that was launched in June 2018 when Woolworths removed single-use plastic shopping bags across all stores.

Applications for Woolworths' Junior Landcare Grants opened on February 10.

 

To find out more about the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program and to apply, click here.

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