Local News

Clarence Valley schools invited to help grow the next generation of environmental champions with Woolworths and Landcare Australia

Woolworths and Landcare Australia are on the lookout for primary schools and early learning centres across Clarence Valley with ideas to help connect young generations with nature and inspire them to play an active role in ensuring the safe future of their environment.

The latest round of the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program is now open, offering primary schools and early learning centres the chance to share in $1 million to support the development of hands-on environmental learning projects.

Grants of up to $1,000 are on offer for projects focussed on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices, enhancing native habitats and deepening First Nations perspectives. This could include planting native herbs and plants like Merindah Children’s Centre in New South Wales has done, helping children learn more about different species of plants, and their connection to the land and its people.

Woolworths Grafton Store Manager, Michael Johns, said: “Getting children involved with hands-on activities in and around nature is an incredible way to help them explore sustainability in action.

“Over the years, we’ve seen some great ideas from schools and early learning centres across New South Wales that were brought to life through our Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program, encouraging kids to explore, appreciate and care for the environment around them. No idea is too small, and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead for this next round of applications.”

Through its Junior Landcare program, Landcare Australia has also worked closely with First Nations educator and Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp to develop environmental learning activities for educators and children to learn more about how they can have a connection to Country.

The activities range from exploring First Nations weather to creating an Indigenous plant-use garden and exploring a First Nations peoples’ languages map.

Adam Shipp, First Nations educator with Landcare Australia, said: “As a proud Wiradjuri man, I believe it is extremely important that environmental based organisations recognise and work with First Nations groups.

“By teaching younger generations about traditional ways of caring for Country, we can deepen knowledge of and respect for First Nations culture and practices. I look forward to seeing how Clarence Valley students and teachers use the new Junior Landcare resources.”

Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish, said: “Junior Landcare has always recognised the vital role children play in taking care of the natural environment and, thanks to the 2023 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program, we look forward to seeing even more children have the opportunity to take on this role.

“Moreover, as we continue to grow the number of First Nations perspective resources on the Junior Landcare Learning Centre, we are thrilled to be able to support Clarence Valley children and educators in building their knowledge of Traditional Land Management and Cultural Heritage when it comes to caring for our land and water.”

Since launching the program in 2018, the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program, in partnership with Landcare Australia, has supported over 3,814 school groups with more than $4 million in funding to help kids all across the country get hands-on with caring for the natural environment.

Applications for the 2023 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants are open now and close 17 March 2023. To find out more about the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program and to apply, visit juniorlandcare.org.au.

 For inspiration, check out some of the creative and fun ideas that the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant program has supported here, with tips to bring environmental education and First Nations perspectives into your school or early learning centre.

 To view what local Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant projects were funded in previous year, search this interactive map: www.JuniorLandcareWoolworthsMap.org.au

 To learn more about how Merindah Children’s Centre utilised their grant, visit here.