Tony Bowater was very excited to be able to present a $2000 cheque to Nelson Environment Centre from this years round of funding from the Bowater Toyota EcoFund. The venue for this cheque presentation was chosen to be Hampden Street School, one of the schools involved in the K.E.G.S (Kids Edible gardens in Schools) programme.
Hampden Street school has been very passionate about the K.E.G.S programme, with a large group of students very engaged with the programme. After presenting the cheque to Karen Driver (via the kids) we spent some time chatting to the students about the impact such a programme has had on their everyday lives. Many now had vege gardens at home, encouraging their parents to get involved and create a fun family activity that also produced produce!
Hampden Street School has taken it a step further by holding an annual home garden competition, where pupils get to enter their own home vege garden that they work in to a school wide competition.
The general response to the K.E.G.S Programme from the kids involved is one of pride - they are very engaged and proud of the gardens they nuture and feel a strong sense of ownership. This sense of nuturing has to be a very positive and beneficial life skill to cultivate long term within our society. These children, as evidenced by the lengthy conversation we had with a small group, are all learning a skill set that will hopefully follow them through their lives in some form or another. This is the perfect application of the Bowater Toyota EcoFund from our perspective - the chance to be involved supporting a community based organisation that is educating the future generations on the importance of pastoral care of the environment by plugging in and connecting directly to it. It is a positive transaction for the money collected off the recycling of otherwise environmentally hazardous byproducts of owning a car - namely waste fluids and vehicle batteries - and converting this into support for those hopefully inspiring and igniting the passion of the next generation.
For more information on the K.E.G.S programme click the link to find out more: http://www.nec.org.nz/kids-edible-gardens-nelson/