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Published: 2004-03-12 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is providing grants for three rural schools to help with planting of native gardens and bush areas on school grounds.

Upper Atiamuri School has been awarded $2000 to turn a barren gully area into native bush as a learning environment and to encourage native birds. The project requires spraying, trees planted and access created.

Tauwhare School will receive $2900 to create a garden which children will care for, learning about environmental and ecological concerns. The project was designed by a community competition and includes a worm farm, recycling and pest control.

Ngakuru School near Rotorua has been granted $2000 to enhance an unused area and encourage environmental awareness for students. It has begun with clearing of blackberry and construction of tracks through the gully with community help. A shade house has been constructed for seed raising, and the project will be available to other schools in the area.

Strategic Development Manager Kevin Collins said the projects were worthwhile educational efforts, promoting environmental education objectives in rural areas that are not close to other educational resources.