Thirty schools, including three from the Bay of Plenty have been given the Growing for Good grant to lead sustainability initiatives in their schools.

In applying for the grant, operated by Countdown, schools were asked to reveal what project they wanted to be supported.

Pahoia Primary and Welcome Bay School in Tauranga and Apanui School in Whakatāne were the successful Bay of Plenty schools.

Apanui School, with the $1000 they have been given, want to create a small orchard next to their vegetable patch to improve their garden to plate programme.

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The students will plant, maintain and harvest the fruit trees. The students will learn about the seasonality of different produce and the benefit of cross-pollination.

Welcome Bay Primary pupils hope to install a rainwater tank to enhance their vegetable patch using the $500 grant.

The water from the tank will reduce water consumption and use water that would otherwise have gone to waste.

The vegetables grown will provide school families in need with healthy meals and increase knowledge around growing and cooking meals that otherwise may be lacking in a home environment.

Finally, Pahoia Primary pupils will use their $400 grant to install compost bins to reduce food waste.

The compost will be used on the school vegetable patch to provide nutrients to the plants and promote worm development.

The students will learn how to compost, about the environmental impact of waste going to landfill and how to reduce their carbon footprint.

The 30 New Zealand schools have each been given a share of the $25,000 awarded by Countdown. Varying amounts were awarded based on what schools applied for.

The Growing for Good grant aims to help primary and intermediate schools fund a range of projects which are focused on protecting Aotearoa's environment.

These include installing beehives and chicken coops, planting native trees and plants as well as fruit and vegetable gardens, investigating maramataka, growing Māori medicinal plants, and reducing food waste.

Countdown's general manager corporate affairs and sustainability, Kiri Hannifin, said they
were blown away by the huge number of applications they received from schools across
New Zealand.

"We were so impressed by the creative ideas demonstrated in this first round of Growing for Good applications. It's fantastic to see our young tamariki and their schools so passionately engaged with weaving environmentalism and sustainability into everyday learning," she said.

"What was particularly heartening was the number of projects designed to benefit not only
the environment and the students but their families and communities as well. It was
incredibly difficult to make our final choices."

Hannifin confirmed the grants would be run again at the end of the year.

Other schools will receive the grant to help with building a chicken coop, creating a community garden, installing a butterfly house and buying a stream health monitoring and assessment kit.