Dunwich State School students to pitch in to grow new veggie gardens after school gets $1000 grant

ECO-FRIENDLY: Dunwich State School budding green thumb Hannah Rattray, Year 1, is excited about the new gardens that will be built.

ECO-FRIENDLY: Dunwich State School budding green thumb Hannah Rattray, Year 1, is excited about the new gardens that will be built.

PRIMARY students on North Stradbroke Island will learn all about propagating plants and harvesting veggies when they pitch in to build and grow new vegetable gardens at Dunwich State School.

The school won a grant of $1000 through the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens Grants Program, and was one of only three schools in Queensland to be selected.

Their application chosen from almost 1000 entries across Australia.

The grants program encourages young people to get out into the garden to grow healthy food and other plants and learn healthy habits.

Dunwich State School impressed the judges with their entry, which outlined plans for several new vegetable gardens designed to teach children about propagating, harvesting and seed gathering, while also providing healthy produce for the local community.

Acting school principal Tammy Burnett said the gardens grant would be invaluable for students from Prep to Year 6, with the project beginning in 2021.

"As well as building the garden beds, the students will learn which vegetables grow best in the four seasons and the best time to harvest and will take turns doing different garden jobs such as watering, weeding, fertilising and mulching," Ms Burnett said.

"We are a culturally significant school, and this program helps teach the community how to grow their own food and eat healthy."

HEALTHY LIVING: Students at Dunwich State School already produce an impressive garden crop.

HEALTHY LIVING: Students at Dunwich State School already produce an impressive garden crop.

The students already produce an impressive garden crop as part of their school greenhouse and EcoMarine Program, led by school grounds officer Steven Saunders, who teaches children about sustainable planting, bush tucker gardens and propagation.

"As well as potting native and exotic plants for the school gardens, we sell vegetables to the island community, and students also pick veggies and take them home to their families," Mr Saunders said.

"We also use vegetables from the gardens to make stir-fries, teaching students how to cook healthy, tasty foods."

Life Education Queensland chief executive Michael Fawsitt congratulated the school on securing the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens grant.

"The Yates gardens grants enable us to extend the Life Education experience from the classroom to the garden, reinforcing important messages from our program about the value of physical activity, positive relationships and nutrition," Mr Fawsitt said.

"Schools often tell us they could not provide opportunities like this without additional funds, so it's fantastic to be able to help Dunwich State School extend their vegetable garden program and give students vital experience in managing a sustainable planting project."

Peregian Beach College and Highlands Christian College were the two other Queensland schools to receive a $1000 Life Education and Yates Growing Good Gardens Grant.