Melbourne Area Transition member Sarah Spencer, has won the WWF-UK Green Ambassador Teacher of the Year Award for her work with one of MAT’s projects. Sarah helps to run the Eco Warrior Club at Melbourne Junior School and has designed and created a food garden at the school as part of Melbourne Area Transition. The school Forest Garden has gone from strength to strength since it was started two years ago, with children regularly participating in lessons and clubs to learn how to grow their own food. MAT members and parents turned out in force for several digging days to create the garden, putting in raised beds, a pond, a storytelling chair, paths, a willow fence and to plant hundreds of plants. Food harvested is being used in school meals and children are tasting a wider variety of fruit and vegetables than are available in the shops.
Sarah said “I was thrilled to be nominated for the award and even more surprised to have won. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the WWF summit at Highgrove (home to Prince Charles) due to another volunteering commitment at Whistlewood Common, but I am so pleased that the efforts made by such an enthusiastic group of Eco Warriors, supported by Melbourne Area Transition and parent volunteers, have been recognised at such a high level. We also wish to thank all the local groups and businesses who have donated money, resources and plants to the project.”
The Green Ambassador scheme aims to encourage a new generation of sustainability champions. It is aimed at inspiring primary school children (5-11 year olds) to become active in making their school greener by looking at issues such as reducing energy, food, encouraging wildlife and reducing waste.
Isabelle O’Toole from Melbourne Junior School was highly commended in the WWF Green Ambassador of the Year 2014.
Isabelle’s mother said: “Isabelle has had a fantastic time as a WWF Green Ambassador at Highgrove. She has really embraced sustainability and has been a credit to Melbourne Junior School”.
During their time at Highgrove, Isabelle and the other pupils helped The Royal Entomological Society mark National Insect Week by undertaking an insect survey at Highgrove. Pupils will be joined their scientists to help them find out about the diversity of insect life that lives in The Prince of Wales’ garden!
Green Ambassadors were also given a private tour of the beautiful organic gardens at Highgrove. There they learnt about how His Royal Highness has incorporated sustainability principles into the way that the gardens are managed. The pupils were accompanied by members of the gardening team at Highgrove, which gave pupils a unique opportunity to talk with the team that work in the gardens throughout the seasons.