New funding for schools

Jessica Arlund and Brooklyn Lea from the Youth Involvement Panel. Photo: John Borren.

Is your local school keen to have a worm farm? Edible gardens? New bike racks?

People are being encouraged to kick start their school’s sustainability or resilience project through a new, innovative fund offered by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

“We’re offering funding of up to $5000 to education providers for them to get sustainability and resilience projects off the ground,” says BOPRC director of strategic engagement Kataraina O’Brien.

“This could include edible gardens, compost setups, tsunami evacuation signs, new bike racks – really the possibilities are endless.”

The regional council’s new $30,000 Sustainability and Resilience fund is open to all education providers across the Bay of Plenty including schools, early childhood education providers, kura, kohanga and tertiary institutions.

Kataraina says the fund is innovative for regional council as, instead of council staff allocating the funding, the public will.

“Projects will be put up for the public to view on our Participate platform and the public can then vote for which projects they would like to see funded. It’s a really fun way for the public to engage with projects they fund through their rates.”

Those who do not get selected by the public will then go through to BOPRC’s Youth Involvement Project team.

The rangatahi/youth on this team can then select which projects they would like to see funded.

The public will have $20,000 to spend and the YIP group will have $10,000.

Climate change is one of BOPRC’s top three priorities and Kataraina says the focus of sustainability and resilience aligns well with that.

“With climate change we are going to see more extreme events and unpredictable weather in the Bay of Plenty, so, the more we do to cut emissions now and build resilience the better off we’ll be in the future.

“We know young people are often at the forefront of climate change activism and we hope this fund can target that to help them build sustainable practices and resilience in their education institutions.

“Rangatahi are also often changemakers at home so many will bring their learnings from their projects back to their whānau.”

Applications are open until March 31. Public voting open April 18 and runs until May 14.

Successful applicants will be announced at the end of May.

To apply visit https://www.boprc.govt.nz/living-in-the-bay/community-funding/school-sustainability-and-resilience-fund

Or email SSRfund@boprc.govt.nz for more information.




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