Junior Landcare grants up for grabs

Woolworths Landcare Condell Park Public School. 26th March 2019. Photograph Dallas Kilponen/PPR

Primary schools and early learning centres across the Central Coast are being encouraged to apply for the 2021 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program and Bee Bonus, with $1.5M in grants available.

The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants offer up to $1,000 for recipients, and the Bee Bonus offers an extra $500 to support the conservation of Australia’s bee population.

Recipients on the Coast can use the grant to grow a vegetable or bush tucker garden, or for composting, worm farm or other environmental projects to help educate the younger generation about the importance of landcare to the environment.

Woolworths Erina, Gosford and Lisarow Group Manager, Steven Holmes, said the program is all about inspiring Aussie environmental champions in the area.

“The Bee Bonus puts the spotlight on the impact honey bees and native bees have on our ecosystem, creating awareness and encouraging positive action,” Holmes said.

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

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

An estimated 15.6 million hectares of native Australian forest were destroyed in the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis, resulting in a negative impact on honey bees’ ability 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 to develop native beehives, pollinator gardens or bee education programs.

Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish, said the program encourages continuous participation from childhood to adulthood so that the children of today, become the landcarers of the future.

“Junior Landcare helps young Australians develop skills, share knowledge, create new experiences and foster connections with place and community,” Norrish said.

“Bees and pollination are integral to our environment, and the new Bee Bonus will help grow 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 represents the largest number of Junior Landcare grants offered in one round to date.

Since 2018, Woolworths has also contributed more than $1M to a total of 1,155 primary schools and early learning centres across Australia.

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 are open until March 19.

Visit landcareaustralia.org.au/woolworthsgrants to apply.

Jacinta Counihan