Primary schools and early learning centres across the country are set to get a Bee Bonus as part of a $1.5million investment by Woolworths into the 2021 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant program.
Up to a thousand Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants are being offered, for up to $1,000 each.
Recipients can use the grant to grow a vegetable or bush tucker garden, composting, worm farm or other environmental projects in their schools and communities, helping to educate the younger generation about the importance of the environment.
Primary schools and early learning centres can also apply for a Bee Bonus, in addition to the $1,000 grant. The Bee Bonus offers $500 of extra funding to support the conservation of Australia’s bee population.
An estimated 15.6 million hectares of native Australian forest was destroyed in the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis, resulting in a negative impact on the ability of honey bees to provide pollination services to Australian crops and horticulture.
With bees and pollination a crucial part of the horticultural and agricultural industry in Australia, schools and early learning centres can use the Bee Bonus in the development of native beehives, pollinator gardens or bee education programs. The contribution will help schools to do their part to support bees so they can continue their good work in the environment.
Woolworths General Manager Community, Peter O’Sullivan said: “Our Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program is all about inspiring Aussie environmental champions. The Bee Bonus puts the spotlight on the impact honey bees and native bees have on our ecosystem, creating awareness and encouraging positive action.
“The grants help deliver programs that not only educate younger generations on how to be more environmentally conscious, but also get students hands-on and directly supporting the growth of a sustainable, greener future.
“If we work together, we can help support growth of flora and fauna so that bees can continue their vital role in supporting our agricultural systems and improving biodiversity.”
Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant projects focus on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices or enhancing native habitats such as vegetable gardens, recycling initiatives and native habitat enhancement and indigenous perspectives.
Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish said: “Junior Landcare helps young Australians develop skills, share knowledge, create new experiences and foster connections with place and community. The Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program encourages continuous participation from childhood to adulthood so that the children of today, become the Landcarers of the future.
“Bees and pollination are integral to our environment and the new Bee Bonus will help grow students’ understanding of our native habitats, why bees are an important part of our ecosystem and their role in fresh food production and supporting biodiversity through pollination.”
The investment is the largest number of Junior Landcare grants offered in one round to date. Since 2018, Woolworths has also contributed more than $1million to a total of 1,155 primary schools and early learning centres across Australia.
The program is funded through purchases of the Woolworths Bag for Good™, an initiative that was launched in June 2018 when Woolworths removed single-use plastic shopping bags across all stores.
Applications for Woolworths’ Junior Landcare Grants are open from 10 February. To find out more about the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants Program and to apply, visit landcareaustralia.org.au/woolworthsgrants