Fund­ing to help look af­ter our en­vi­ron­ment

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

FOUR ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres in the Whit­sun­day re­gion have re­ceived a fund­ing boost to help their stu­dents make pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal changes in their com­mu­nity and for the Great Bar­rier Reef.

St Cather­ine's School in Proser­pine, the Eimeo Road State School, Swayneville State School and Cannonvale’s 121 Child­care Cen­tre, each re­ceived a $500 Rip­ples of Change grant from the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park Author­ity (GBRMPA).

GBRMPA Reef Guardian schools act­ing pro­gram man­ager Carolyn Luder said the Rip­ples of Change grants helped Reef Guardian Schools kick-start or ex­pand pro- jects that ad­dressed threats to the reef.

She said 121 Child­care Cen­tre and Eimeo Road State School would use the fund­ing to plant trees in their school grounds, while Swayneville State School were in­stalling drip ir­ri­ga­tion to re­duce wa­ter use for main­tain­ing gar­dens. Mean­while, St Cather­ine’s School will be reveg­e­tat­ing wet­lands and cre­at­ing a bush tucker gar­den and rain­for­est area.

St Cather­ine’s head of sci­ence Tanya Pernase said stu­dents were mo­ti­vated by the Reef Guardian projects and were keen to in­crease en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness within the school and com­mu­nity.

“Last year we launched the Tur­tle Club, a young sci­ence am­bas­sador group, where stu­dents [gave] up their lunch break once a week to learn about bi­ol­ogy, physics, chem­istry and the en­vi­ron­ment” she said.

“The Rip­ples of Change grant will help the Tur­tle Club cre­ate sus­tain­able gar­dens, fer­tilised through com- post­ing and build a wet­land at the Man­resa Cam­pus to ed­u­cate stu­dents about this type of ecosys­tem.”

Each year 20 Reef Guardian Schools re­ceive a Rip­ples of Change grant to sup­port ex­ist­ing sus­tain­abil­ity projects or im­ple­ment new Reef Guardian projects within the school or com­mu­nity.

More than 300 schools and over 123,000 stu­dents take part in GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian Schools pro­gram across Queens­land.

A full list of Rip­ples of Change grant win­ners and project sum­maries is avail­able at

REEF GUARDIANS: Kate Finch (GBRMPA), Caleb Robin­son (stu­dent) and Tanya Pernase (teacher) at St Cather­ine’s Col­lege, were ex­cited to be pre­sented with a $500 Rip­ples of Change grant to help con­tinue to im­ple­ment Reef Guardian ac­tiv­i­ties. They will be fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing sus­tain­able gar­dens and a wet­land within the school.

MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE: El­lie Blake­ley and Padraig Har­ris from 121 Child­care Cannonvale were ex­cited to re­ceive one of 20 Rip­ples of Change grants of $500. They plan to use the money to go to­wards build­ing a green class­room area for their kindy kids to use.

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