Grants engage youth in climate change

BEAM Mitchell Environment Group and Mitchell Shire Council will use State Government funding to tackle climate change at a local level.

The funding, from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s youth and community mini-grants programs, will support 11 organisations across the state to implement projects that address the effects of climate change by taking action to create a more sustainable future.

Mitchell Shire Council received $9185 through the mini-grants programs while BEAM Mitchell Environment Group received $7820.

BEAM Mitchell Environment Group plans to use the grant to fund its Composting and Planting for Climate Resilience project.

The project, headed by committee member Vanessa Malendrin, aims to work with VCAL students to plan, implement and promote an easy-to-achieve climate adaptation project using the gardening cycle of composting, growing seedlings, and planting vegetables for food and natives for landscaping.

BEAM Mitchell Environment Group president Peter Lockyer said Seymour College VCAL students who wanted to make a difference to climate change would be invited to participate in the project.

“Students will be able to select an area of interest, like project planning, project management or project promotion, with everyone spending some time in the garden,” he said.

“The project will also involve VCAL students documenting the whole process via video to motivate other schools to form a network of ‘Climate Warriors’ in neighbouring schools throughout Mitchell.

“They will gain valuable experience communicating to other students the effect of composting and gardening as climate adaptation and drawdown strategies.”

Mitchell Youth Council plans to organise an education program to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of fashion on the environment, culminating in an environmentally-friendly clothes swap project.

Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said council looked forward to working with the youth council to implement the project.

“The youth council should be commended for the initiative and I encourage the community to get behind it next year once it’s launched. We would like to thank the Victorian Government for their support,” she said.

DELWP Hume regional manager community and partnerships Jacqueline Smith said the grants would help organisations in the region kick-start new and innovative ideas to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“One of the successful projects will support students from St Bernard’s Primary School in Wangaratta to build an apple orchard and a second will help the Corryong community grow its own produce, so it doesn’t have to rely on food supplies being sourced from outside of the community, following last summer’s devastating bushfires,” she said.

“Other projects include composting and revegetation, a clothes swap campaign, online energy expo, a puppet show, how to adapt to climate change video series – all of which increase climate change awareness and preparedness within local communities.”