Young people and schools across Australia are being encouraged to apply for one of 25 ‘Creative Gardening’ grants worth $1000 launched in early May—after Landcare Australia received an overwhelming response to an earlier round of Junior Landcare garden grants following the launch of Landcare into the 2015 Australian Curriculum.
Young green thumbs have proved successful gardens do not always need to be on wide open spaces. Last year, the premiere Yates Junior Landcare Creative Gardening Grants attracted exciting responses to planting outside the box—including vertical lifecycle gardens, garden trains and bean teepees—as well as reports of improved social outcomes.
Yates gardening expert Angie Thomas says: “The grants provide an excellent opportunity for kids to learn they can even grow things in small places—while connecting with nature and learning that gardening is about more than just planting seeds.”
Landcare Australia CEO Tessa Jakszewicz says: “The participation and engagement of young people is vital to ensure Landcare continues to lead the way in voluntary efforts looking after our crucial land and water resources.”
“From our first ever creative gardening grants last year, we also received a number of reports from groups about improved outcomes for the kids themselves, increasing confidence, self-esteem and a sense of connectedness to others and the community at large,” Ms Jakszewicz says.
Landcare Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, a grassroots movement that harnesses individuals and groups to protect, restore and sustainable manage Australia’s natural environment and its productivity. It had its genesis in initiatives to improve agricultural productivity through sustainable land management. The movement has grown from this to a broader focus on sustainable management of all of Australia’s natural resource assets and now encompasses individuals and groups across the whole landscape from coastal to urban and remote areas of Australia.
With over 6000 Landcare and Coastcare groups nationwide there is likely to be a group near you, possibly working on a project right under your nose. Volunteers range from kids to retirees, surfers to farmers and CEO’s to students. United by a shared desire to create positive change in their communities, these individuals recognise that as a group their efforts have greater impact.
The success of the Landcare model is due in part to its bottom up philosophy. A Landcare group usually starts when community members with common objectives connect over their observations of a local environmental issue. For example, erosion of sand dunes due to mismanaged beach access or weeds affecting agricultural productivity. Groups set their own agenda, undertake work as often as they like and choose their own project sites. Groups may apply for funding from a variety of different sources to support their work including local, state, federal government and Landcare Australia.
The Yates Junior Landcare Creative Gardening Grants are open to schools and youth groups in Australia. Applications close on 3rd July 2015. Details and application forms can be found at: www.juniorlandcare.com.au
Posted 20 May 2015