Ballarat kindie students find their green fingers!

Forty students from Fidelity Kindergarten in Ballarat have already kick-started a lifetime of sustainability skills by getting involved in a great project to help reduce food waste, save water and improve soil quality. Working with local community initiative, Food Is Free (FIF), and thanks to a Powerful Youth Projects grant, the kindergarten was part of developing a Green Recycle Depot on a disused piece of land just outside its premises.

Food Is Free Inc. is a not-for-profit community-led project which fosters and promotes practical food security programs and solutions to assist with food crisis issues within Ballarat and surrounds. Having been granted a disused parcel of land by the council just outside the Fidelity Club Kindergarten, they decided to partner with the school to benefit the whole community. The partnership was granted a Powerful Youth Projects grant by Momentum Energy and Junior Landcare to kick-start their project.

FIF founder, Lou Ridsdale, has been teaching gardening at the kindergarten for more than 18 months and saw how much the students love getting stuck in! As part of the Green Recycle Depot, she taught them how to make a worm farm and learn how it saves food scraps from ending up in the bin.

The project also included working bees with FIF volunteers, Fidelity students, teachers and parents, and the creation of wicking beds, compost tumblers, and art and sculpture to improve how the space looked. Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia even came along to lend a hand and officially open the project!

What resulted is a fabulous community space where children, parents, families, friends and community members can drop off recyclables green goods to make compost which will be used in the garden beds.

Ginelle Polankse, a Food Is Free volunteer and parent of a Fidelity Kindergarten student, loved the experience.

“Being part of the Food Is Free Green Space project for Fidelity Kindergarten has been a really positive experience. The kids have been really excited seeing the space come together and the fact that kids of the future who attend Fidelity will continue to be part of it is just a marvellous thing. It makes it a real community effort.”

The Powerful Youth Projects are funded by Momentum Energy through its partnership with Junior Landcare. Schools, childcare centres and youth groups in Victoria are eligible to apply for a Powerful Youth Project. Applications open in February 2018. Click here for more information.

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