Small grants support hands on environmental education and awareness

Creation of a butterfly garden, the establishment of habitats for threatened species and a soil and pasture workshop are some of the projects funded through this year’s Central West Local Land Services Resilient Communities Small Grants program.

Running for the last three years this year saw community group projects funded in Condobolin, Dubbo, Quambone, Caragabal, Greenthorpe, Forbes and Quandialla.

Central West Local Land Services Community Engagement Officer Brooke Kirkman said the grants were funded by Catchment Action NSW and targeted projects with a natural resource or cultural heritage focus that improve community resilience.

“Our resilient communities small grants are aimed at supporting community groups across the Central West region to fund projects that support both resilience within the community and natural resource management.”

Weddin Landcare and Saint Joseph’s Parish School Condobolin are two recipients of this year’s funding round.

Both groups are working to educate students about sustainable natural environments, whilst providing the excitement of a hands-on learning experience.

“Weddin Landcare’s Birds, Bats and Bugs – Ecosystem benefactors project has a strong partnership with Caragabal, Greenthorpe and Quandialla Public schools all participating with support from the Grenfell Men’s Shed in the creation of 26 artificial habitats which have been installed by a local arborist,” Ms Kirkman said.

“This fantastic project involved the children in various activities such as bird watching, educational visits, monitoring and creation of artificial habitats to support the ecosystem functions of local of bird, microbat and bee populations.

“Saint Joseph’s Public School Butterfly Garden project aims to involve year three students in learning about the benefit of creating and maintaining a native garden to encourage insect and butterfly populations.

“Students inspected the site, learnt about native plant species and created a birds eye view design.

“Through the project the students gained insights into recognising existing local plant species and incorporating aspects such as climate, available resources, ecosystem benefits and ongoing maintenance into their final design.”

The school’s parents and friends committee will work with students, staff, youth ministry group and seek to create a community garden group to design, construct and maintain the garden.

“This is a great project that will encourage leadership, initiative and motivation to create a garden which will showcase the importance managing natural resources through learning and community involvement.” Ms Kirkman said.

Central West Local Land Services is planning to run the Resilient Communities Small Grants program again this year.

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