Calling all young, budding conservationists

Countdown launches second round of sustainability grants

Over winter, young Kiwi gardeners and conservationists have been working hard on sustainability projects thanks to Countdown’s Growing for Good grants. 

In February 2019, Countdown awarded grants to 30 schools across the country to kick-start environmental projects such as installing beehives and chicken coops, building and improving fruit and vege gardens, investigating maramataka, growing Māori medicinal plants and reducing food waste.

Countdown is now welcoming applications for round two of the grants, and has this year opened up the grants programme to early childhood education centres to support even more sustainability projects from our littlest Kiwis. Applications close on 15 November.

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, says watching the projects come to life has been a real delight , and Countdown is keen to continue to support young Kiwi's desire to enhance and protect Aoteroa’s environment.

“We’ve loved being  able to help develop the passion and skills we need for our younger generation to become kaitiaki of our precious environment, and we can’t wait to see what inspiring concepts are presented in the second round of Growing for Good applications!” says Kiri Hannifin.

Whangaparaoa School used its grant to design and create a sensory garden, to stimulate the senses and encourage inclusion for those students who were unable to access the school’s other outdoor play areas. The new garden involves planter boxes which can be easily accessed by wheelchairs, visual and auditory elements created by the students, and plants with a specific focus on the senses. 

Whangaparaoa Principal, Kevin Cronin, says the garden has made a positive impact on students.

“We were so pleased that Countdown saw the value in our sensory garden, and our students have absolutely loved it.  It’s hard for this type of project to get off the ground but sometimes it’s the simplest things that make all the difference.  We now have an amazing space for our students to enjoy the outdoors no matter their mobility, which is really special,” says Kevin Cronin.

The criteria and application forms can be found at:www.countdown.co.nz/growingforgood  

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