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By Derek Schlennstedt

Students at 12 Yarra Ranges schools will learn about healthy waterways, biodiversity and reducing pollution thanks to Yarra Ranges Council’s Grants for Community.
The Environmental Education for Kids (EEK!) project is run by Dr Annette Anderson and Jessica Lazarus, and aims to teach primary school students about the importance of healthy waterways over five workshops.
Dr Anderson said the program also taught leadership skills to the students, who learn about waterways over the first four workshops, before presenting their learnings and activities back to other year levels in the final workshop.
“Through four workshops, students will learn about local waterway health, biodiversity, issues with stormwater and simple ways they can preserve this water resource and all the life within it,” Dr Anderson said.
“Educating and engaging primary school children about these issues will foster a sense of community ownership, leading to active engagement in long-term protection of their local environment.
“They will become citizen scientists, passing knowledge onto their peers, family and community.”
Yarra Ranges Council Mayor, Noel Cliff, said 12 schools in the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges and urban areas of the Yarra Ranges would get to take part in EEK! over the year and the program was funded through Yarra Ranges Council’s Grants for Community.
“A protected and enhanced natural environment was one of the key community values identified in this year’s Vision and Values Statement,” Cr Cliff said.
“Programs such as EEK! demonstrate the importance of this to our younger generation, who will one day lead the community.
“I’m proud that council is able to support programs like EEK! through its Grants for Community program.”

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