Environment Canterbury recognises the excellent progress schools throughout Canterbury are making with their supported biodiversity projects.
Schools applying for funding from the Honda TreeFund towards biodiversity projects in 2011/12 were all part of the Enviroschools Canterbury programme: Waimataitai School (Timaru), Loburn School, North Loburn School, Ashburton Borough School and Carew Peel Forest School.
Sian Carvell, Environment Canterbury Team Leader Education for Sustainability, says these schools in particular are showing excellent commitment to biodiversity within their own environments for the good of the wider community.
“Each school demonstrated a strong vision towards enhancing and protecting local biodiversity in and around their school and, being Enviroschools, strongly encouraged students to lead the way,” Sian said.
Waimataitai School’s new native garden development is part of a wetlands unit being undertaken by 100 students. Loburn School is working on the second phase of its native plant garden. North Loburn School is developing “Project Harakeke”, planting flax, native hebe and grasses while learning the Māori stories around them. Ashburton Borough School’s “Borough Greenies” are developing an embankment beside a playing field by planting tussock and native trees. Carew Forest School is doing mass planting of native trees to link an area between current planting and the school’s fence line.
Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Officer Donna Woodley, one of the assessors of the 2011/12 applications, says she was “especially impressed with the overall detail and knowledge that the students provided and the way the wider community are able to support the school with their vision”.
Environment Canterbury and the Honda TreeFund are working together to support schools and their communities who wish to protect, restore and enhance local biodiversity. Annually, up to $10,000 is available to Canterbury schools to help with native planting projects. Schools can apply for up to $1,000 each. Applications for 2012/13 open on 1 July 2012. Schools can apply for and receive funding at any time between 1 July 2012 and 15 March 2013.
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As well as the Honda TreeFund school fund, Environment Canterbury recently allocated almost a quarter of a million dollars to a range of important biodiversity projects across the Canterbury region.
This money is in addition to Immediate Steps biodiversity funding to ensure that all Canterbury Water Management Strategy biodiversity targets can be achieved.
These projects will protect and enhance a variety of ecosystem types, including wetlands, lowland streams and native vegetation remnants. Projects include native plantings, weed control, pest and stock proof fencing.
Environment Canterbury has also allocated general grants on behalf of the Honda TreeFund. Honda sponsors 10 native trees to be planted for every new car sold, with another three funded by local Honda dealers.
More than $243,000 in biodiversity support funding was granted in the current round and the year-to-date figure now exceeds $380,000.
Landowners who believe they have a good idea for a biodiversity project deserving support should contact their local Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Officer via 0800 324 636 or firstname.lastname@example.org