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From Rainwater Harvesting to Bikes Racks: Community Choice for School Resilience

8 April 2024

From Rainwater Harvesting to Bikes Racks: Community Choice for School Resilience

After receiving over 40 applications to the School Sustainability and Resilience fund, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is excited to be involving the community in deciding how they fund community-led projects.

The fund supports schools and early childhood education centres to carry out environmental sustainability projects and prepare for the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

The applicants who receive the most online votes get the funding to deliver their sustainability or resilience project.

TECT, BayTrust and Trust Horizon have supported Regional Council and collectively added $50,000 to bring the total funding pool up to $85,000 this year.

Chief Executive Fiona McTavish said she was thrilled with the number, and type of applications this year, and the next stage of the project was the community vote.

“This is the fun part! We hope that each of the education providers that have put in an application get their community involved with the voting process.

“And voting is easy. Just register and choose your favourite projects before 10 May,” she said.

Mrs McTavish said these are small projects, that schools will complete before Christmas that will benefit them and the environment in the long term.

Projects that were funded last year included a hydroponics system for the horticulture garden at Trident High School, a seed library at Waihi Beach Primary School and new bike and scooter racks at Lynmore Primary School.

A second round of voting will be held by a youth panel in Youth Week (20-25 May). All Bay of Plenty people aged 12-24 years are encouraged to sign up to be part of this great initiative.

“The best part of the panel was looking through the applications and reading about the different projects that applied for funding. I learned a lot about participatory budgeting from being on the panel, which was an excellent educational experience.” Namita Nitesh, Tauranga Girls College, representative of the 2023 SSRF Youth Panel.

The voting round is now open and will close on May 10. www.participate.boprc.govt.nz/ssrf