Congratulations to the 100 schools that have made a commitment to connecting their schools to the local environment and learning about waterway and catchment health ! Thankyou for your drive and energy.
You are part of a positive movement across Victoria with schools taking part in the North Central, Wimmera, North East and Corangamite CMA regions along with the Melbourne Water operations area.
You will work closely this year with your passionate regional coordinators to support your River Detective journey.
- North Central CMA: Nicole Howie
- Wimmera CMA: Jeanie Clark
- North East CMA: Anna Hall
- Corangamite CMA: Deidre Murphy and Kristen Lees
- Melbourne Water area: Jane Petch
Seek them out for any help you need and remember that the River Detectives is extremely flexible. Your coordinator will be able to help you tailor the program to your unique needs.
This update is coming to you from myself, Nicole, as I also have a statewide coordination role and am responsible for supporting the regions and keeping the website up to date.
Who can believe we are at the pointy end of Term 1 already !
It’s been a busy term for our coordinators to finalise 2023 registrations, issue water quality kits, plan and run introductory professional development sessions and get River Detectives website accounts up and running. We are all on different timelines with these tasks so if you are waiting for equipment/training please know that it’s not far away.
Billabong Banter posts will be made throughout the year to highlight upcoming events and the River Detectives resources that will help you embed learning across the curriculum. We will also highlight other relevant initiatives such as these current opportunities that you may be interested in;
- Junior Landcare Grants: open til May 12 with two focus areas; biodiversity focused on-ground projects and biodiversity focused education activities (both extremely relevant to doing some work at your waterway, funding a waterbug kit, getting some guest speakers in, making nestboxes, funding a Litter Trackers project – so many options !)
- Also be aware that Landcare and Friends Of Groups will be applying for their own stream of grants at this time too so it’s a perfect time to reach out to your local group and see if they’d like to collaborate on a project. With community engagement activities linked to priority projects highly valued by assessment panels, they might be able to apply for funding that will benefit you both ! To find your nearest group head to the Victorian Landcare Gateway.
- Victorian Schools Garden Program grants; open til April 28; categories include garden maintenance, biodiversity garden and sensory garden establishment (all handy for boosting the health of your catchment and enhancing connectivity to your waterway)
- EPA’s Garden Safe program is offering a free citizen-science opportunity to have your soil tested for nasties. Equipment will be sent to you, samples will be screened for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead and zinc then you will be sent a report with results and guidance on how to interpret them.
Have a happy and safe Easter and we’ll look forward to getting stuck into all things River Detectives after the holidays !
Nicole Howie email@example.com