Students at three Queensland schools have exciting new garden projects in store next year thanks to a coveted grant through the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens Grants Program.
Peregian Beach College, Dunwich State School and Highlands Christian College were awarded the $1000 grants after their applications were chosen from almost 1000 national entries.
The grants program inspires young people to get out into the garden to grow healthy food and other plants and learn healthy habits.
Students at Peregian Beach College plan to build a large garden featuring a range of bird-attracting Australian natives and bush tucker plants such as Midyim Berry, Lemon Scented Myrtle, Currant Bush, Finger Lime and Beach Cherry.
School teacher and environmental educator Jenny du Toit said the grant means the school can extend its wildlife gardening elective and give students valuable experience in managing a bush tucker garden.
“Learning about ‘bush tucker’ generates an understanding of Aboriginal culture. Students also learn about habitat creation and gain an appreciation for our local environment. Our school is a registered Land for Wildlife property, with a diversity of resident birds,” Ms du Toit said.
With children from Prep to Year 8 involved, our garden program builds positive relationships by fostering friendships and connections between year levels and giving the older students the opportunity to support and mentor younger ones. It’s also a great form of exercise, encouraging children to engage in physical activities outdoors.
Dunwich Primary School plans to build more vegetable gardens to complement its EcoMarine sustainable planting program.
Students at the North Stradbroke Island school already cultivate vegetables and native plants that are used for the school gardens and sold to the local community.
The new projects will enable children from Prep to Year 6, to learn more about seed propagation, seasonal growing and the best time to harvest vegetables.
“We are a culturally significant school, and this program helps teach the community how to grow their own food and eat healthy,” said acting school principal Tammy Burnett.
“As well as building the garden beds, the students will learn valuable sustainable gardening skills and will take turns doing different garden jobs such as watering, weeding, fertilising and mulching.”
Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt congratulated the schools on securing the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens grant.
“Schools often tell us they would not be able to provide opportunities like this without additional funds. The Yates gardens grants project enables us to extend the Life Education experience from the classroom to the garden, reinforcing important messages from our program about the value of physical activity, positive relationships and nutrition,” Mr Fawsitt said.