Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants recipients announced – ECEC sites feature strongly
The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program supports over a thousand Australian schools and early learning services with projects to empower environmental action.
A number of early learning settings were successful in gaining grants in the most recent allocation, including Endeavour Hills Early Learning Centre (ELC) and Kindergarten, East Lindfield Community Preschool, and Bathurst ELC.
In 2023, the awards celebrated their fifth year of working with and supporting early learning services, with successful services each being given a grant of up to $1,000. This year, Woolworths selected applications which had a focus on sustainable food production, waste management and biodiversity, as well as 325 grants that will focus on expanding students’ First Nations perspectives education and deepening their connection to Country.
“We hope that both students and educators have fun as they explore new learning experiences that connect with the natural environment. It’s all about getting hands-on with nature and
helping kids learn about the different ways they can care for their local environment,” said Woolworths Community Program Manager Loretta Arrastia.
For Dr Shane Norrish, Landcare Australia CEO, the awards are part of the broader work of Junior Landcare, in recognising the vital role that children and young people play in caring for the environment.
“Thanks to the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants, and the Woolworths-supported Junior Landcare Learning Centre, young people have an opportunity to experience hands-on learning with environmental education,” he said.
Having a First Nations perspective and lens to environmental stewardship is vital, which is why Landcare Australia has worked with First Nations educator Adam Shipp, a Wiradjuri man. Through the partnership, Mr Shipp has developed 10 new First Nations learning activities for the Junior Landcare program.
“The knowledge from our Elders and ancestors that have come before us is extremely important to capture and keep alive,” he said.
“Our lands will be much healthier in doing so, and so I am delighted that a number of Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants will be funding First Nations perspectives projects this year.”
“From creating a yarning circle to learning about bush tucker – these are valuable experiences that can help our kids gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nations culture and knowledge systems in their everyday environments.”
Endeavour Hills will use their grant funding to support their ‘growing gardens’ project that will see children replant vegetables, fruits and plants to grow and use in their daily menu. Children will engage with the garden daily, through watering and harvesting plants, to further their knowledge about veggies, fruits and plants and how to create a functional garden we can sustain.
At East Lindfield Community Preschool, the winning project was ‘my rainbow salad garden’, which will see children grow a rainbow of salad vegetables to experience new flavours. The children will be involved in growing seeds, planting, caring for the growing plants and coming together to harvest the vegetables and share their produce.
At Bathurst, the children will be participating in the construction and maintenance of a worm farm, allowing them to get hands-on with nature and play an active role in caring for the natural environment.
To date, including the latest round, Woolworths has contributed over $5 million to
more than 4,900 Junior Landcare projects across Australia and reaching more than
Educators looking for fun ways to get involved in environmental sustainability activities can also check out Junior Landcare’s online Learning Centre, with hundreds of free activities for all ages.
For more information on this year’s recipients, please see here.
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