More than 100 students gathered in Croydon from across the Gulf to celebrate Gulf Kids Environment Day over winter. Northern Gulf Resource Management Group hosted the event which was themed around the Australian Year of the Farmer, as well as celebrating growing and cooking food at school and home.
Local producer Peter Kennedy from Alehvale Station opened the day with a speech about sustainable farming and what graziers on the Gulf Plains and Einasleigh Uplands are doing to manage their properties sustainably. This was followed by a working collie demonstration by Tom Mauloni, from Mena Creek.
Students from Croydon, Karumba, Normanton, Georgetown and surrounding properties participated in activities that reflected the measures local producers take to look after their local environment, including monitoring pasture and biodiversity, dealing with weeds, feral animals and erosion and looking at technology used such as solar power and GPS.
Across Australia, more than 70,000 school children have been engaged in natural resource management activities.
Another aspect of the day was exploring how to grow food sustainably at school, investigating worm farms, no-dig gardening, composting and permaculture design. In addition to this the older children cooked up a kitchen garden feast, while the younger kids made some delicious damper on the campfire.
The event was supported by Queensland Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Biosecurity Queensland, Education Queensland, Meat & Livestock Australia, Frontier Services and Savannah Regional Health Services. Connellan Airways Trust contributed to the travel costs for remote families attending the day.
Erica Blumson from Northern Gulf Resource Management Group said ‘there has been a resurgence of food growing projects in our Gulf schools. Gulf Kids Environment Day has given students the opportunity to explore a range of ways of managing their backyards for a sustainable future, whether that is a small block in town, the school grounds or a 20,000 hectare cattle station!’