Fuseworks Media

‘Involve kids in environmental sustainability, up to $5,000 towards your project’

Now is the time to involve your tamarki in protecting the whenua and preparing for the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s School Sustainability and Resilience Fund is open and is seeking applications from schools, kura, kohanga, kindergartens, early childhood education centres across our rohe.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Engagement Team Leader Steph Macdonald said there was a fund of $35,000 available for education providers to help kick off environmental projects.

“We want to get more kids with their fingers in the ground taking care of our whenua, biking to school, and knowing what to do in case of a tsunami. This fund can help support all of that and more,” she said.

“We have set up this fund so local education providers can design their own environmental project and see it through.”

Mrs Macdonald said the projects that had been funded in the past included building wetlands, bike racks, tsunami evacuation signs, fruit forests and vege gardens, composting bins and worm farms, weather monitoring stations and more.

Over the last two years Regional Council has had over 80 applications and been able to fund $100,000 towards a range of projects across the region.

The projects must contribute to one or more of the following categories, she said. Raising awareness of and understanding natural hazards and/or climate change risks, improving long-term resilience and sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The fund was also a way to get the community involved with participatory budgeting, where community decide which projects should be funded,” she said.

“Bringing together the community to vote for their favourite projects, no matter how big or small the projects are, this is the success of this project – the participatory budgeting.

“By empowering the community, we are empowering them do their own voting, marketing, and projects for long term sustainability and resilience.

“The kids and the schools do the thinking about how they want to be more environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change, and we support them to do that.”

As part of last year’s round for applications, there was a total of 2150 votes from the community.

Last year, Regional Council empowered 16 young people to help allocate $15,000 through the fund too.

“We supported a youth panel to weigh up the options and make tough choices through participatory budgeting and empowered them to make their own decisions on who they thought needed an extra boost.

The School Sustainability and Resilience Fund is open now with applications closing on March 15. Please head to www.participate.boprc.govt.nz/ssrf for more information.

 

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