The 2016 Yates Junior Landcare ‘Design and Be Inspired in the Garden’ Grants Program has produced impressive outcomes for the 13 schools and 1,800 students involved.
Through the grants, six vegetable gardens were created, along with four native gardens, providing habitat for local fauna; two outdoor learning spaces, with sensory gardens; and a bush tucker garden with cultural learning space.
In their ‘Inspiring Gardens’, some students developed composting programs that included worm farms, while others reduced waste going into landfills by using creativity to recycle and upcycle. In addition, students were also involved in activities such as implementing water wise practices, installing tanks to save water and planting native species to create a habitat to support local fauna.
These fun projects helped students learn about the environment while increasing their knowledge on how food is produced, the importance of nutrition and eating healthy food, Indigenous bush tucker foods and culture, gardening skills that can be used at home, and other key concepts of environment, biodiversity, and sustainability.
The ‘Design and Be Inspired in the Garden’ program also proved to be beneficial in developing students’ health and social skills. Involvement of students in outdoor activities improved their fitness, strength and mental health while building up their social skills such as working in a team, confidence, collaboration, and decision-making abilities. This program has also helped develop environmental stewardship and advocacy, both with students and the wider community.
13 grants were awarded to schools across Australia through the program, consisting of up to $1,500 in funding, $500 of Yates garden products, and a ‘growing consultation’ with a Yates gardening expert to provide the students with tips and tricks to help their gardens thrive.
The grants provided great opportunities for schools and youth groups to engage in outdoor, hands-on learning activities, which promoted the development of various environmental, educational, health, and social benefits. Well done to everyone involved!