The Horizons Regional Council's Pat Kelly Enviroschools' Action Fund to support sustainability projects opens today.

Formally known as the Enviroschools Action Fund, the Pat Kelly Enviroschools Action Fund aims to support sustainability projects from Enviroschools that are not eligible for Horizons' Community Grants initiative.

Horizons environmental educator and Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Sarah Williams says this is the second year the HRC has been able to offer this funding.

"Schools and Early Childhood Education centres that are part of the Enviroschools programme commit to undertaking a long-term sustainability journey of learning.

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"They are highly involved in a wide range of environmental and sustainability disciplines such as waste, biodiversity, transport, and social justice," says Sarah.

"Being an Enviroschool is not just about creating sustainability within the school or centre grounds, it is about building a sustainable community.

"Being able to support community projects is hugely beneficial to this outcome.

"Although many Enviroschools have innovative ways to raise money to contribute to projects costs, some projects may require a little more input."

Sarah says last year the fund supported 10 projects that included the purchase of recladding for shade houses, worm farms, and a water tank and irrigation system for tamariki play and gardening.

"Kimbolton School, a recipient from the 2020 round, had many projects within their school grounds.

"However the enviro-group, made up of both staff and students, wanted to branch out and develop a project to benefit not just the school, but the community as a whole.

"This led the school to creating a community orchard in the paddock opposite their school as well as receiving funding for 12 fruit trees.

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"We can't wait to see what ideas Enviroschools submit towards this new funding round."

Applications close 5pm, December 1 and is open to official Enviroschools in the Horizons region only.

Application forms are available via the Horizons website or by contacting Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Sarah Williams on 0508 800 800.

The Enviroschools Action Fund was renamed the Pat Kelly Action Fund at the end of 2019 in memory of former Horizons councillor Pat Kelly, who was a huge advocate for the programme.

Horizons Regional Council facilitates the regional coordination of the Enviroschools programme - a national behaviour change programme aiming to create a generation of young people who think and act sustainably.

There are 74 Enviroschools across the Horizons region, from early childhood education through to the primary and secondary schools.

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More information on the Enviroschools programme can be found at https://www.horizons.govt.nz/managing-natural-resources/environmental-education