Tuesday, 4th April 2017

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region has encouraged students in Gippsland to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty in their own school garden.

The search for Victoria’s best and most innovative school gardens is on again with the launch of this year’s Victorian Schools Garden Awards.

The annual awards, now in their 40th year, provide a unique opportunity to celebrate school gardens while teaching students about gardening, ecology and the environment.

Prize categories range from the most engaging gardens for play or teaching to the best edible garden.

Schools in Gippsland can now apply for incentive grants of up to $1,000 to buy the materials needed to get started creating an exciting school garden, which they can enter into the awards. The entire year’s grant and prize pool is worth almost $85,000.

The Victorian Schools Garden Awards are run in partnership between the Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria and the Victorian School Building Authority.The Andrews Labor Government is a major sponsor of the program, contributing $75,000.

The awards program is open to all Gippsland schools, public and non-government. Winners will be announced in late November at a special ceremony in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

For more information, including the grant categories available, visit: www.schoolsgardenawards.org.au

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“The Victorian School Garden Awards encourage students to get their hands dirty while creating and maintaining gardens that can be delicious, fragrant, fun, relaxing, colourful and interactive.”

“There are many schools all over Gippsland whose students will be really keen to put their hands up for a chance to win an award and I wish them all the best.  I’m a proud supporter of school gardens that involve and engage our kids – they bring enormous benefits to students, teachers and often involve the entire community.”
• Edible Garden: Two per school category – 6 grants at $500 each
• Biodiversity Garden: Two per school category – 6 grants at $500 each
• Sensory Garden: Two per school category – 6 grants at $500 each
• School Yard Make Over: One per school category – 3 grants at $1,000 each
• Maintenance:  One per school category per regional catchment – 24 grants at $300 each
• Fleming’s Nurseries Orchard Establishment Grant: One orchard statewide valued at $1,000
• Turf Victoria – Turf Establishment Grant: 1 x 300 square metres turf packages statewide valued at $4,500 each
• Australian Growing Solutions – Garden Compost Grant: One compost mix for vegetables gardens (4-6 cubic metres) valued at $2,000
• Takasho VegTrug Package: One package valued at $1,000 includes one medium VegTrug with frame, shade covers and side table, and four different size trellis frames.
All grants (with the exception of the Turf, Orchard, AGS and VegTrug packages) will be provided in the form of nursery vouchers.