Scone Shines at National Tidy Towns Awards
BY DI SNEDDON
People often say our future success is in the hands of our youth and if Belltrees Public School students are anything to go by, we are all certainly in fantastic hands.
The school was awarded winner of both the group and individual young legend’s categories at the National Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns awards held at Tasmania’s King Island on May 20.
As the school’s Youth Environment Council president in 2022, Renzy Perez led, inspired, and informed as he worked tirelessly to ensure that the school’s projects continue to be successful, from bottle sorting to pasture cropping, to tree planting and composting.
Scone Tidy Towns president Lynda Posa was accompanied by fellow committee members Catherine Chick, Lynne and Laurie Ring and Belltrees Public School principal Shane Roberts to attend the awards and Linda told The Hunter River Times she is returning inspired to see her community adopt some of the award winning projects.
“I would definitely love to see us recycle sewerage water for use on our parks like they do in Euroa in Victoria, the technology is definitely there now and any minute it is imminent that we will go into another drought and this huge body of water needs to be recycled,” Lynda said.
“Historic buildings in Oaklands was another idea we could adopt, the historic buildings in this town are schmick thanks to their council, State and Federal grants and I think we could be more proactive in accessing funding to showcase our buildings.
“But if I had a magic wand I would just say the education space at Belltrees should be showcased and used to educate other schools, teachers and communities on how regenerative agriculture even in a small, tiny space can be a massive economically viable idea, I would somehow make it happen.”
Belltrees Public School projects were also pivotal in the highly commended awards for water management and communication.
In partnership with Merrimuka Pastoral, Scone’s Belltrees Public School investigated how to improve the water quality and biodiversity of the Hunter River beyond monitoring the health of the river. In order to achieve this, agricultural management practices were reviewed and adapted using regenerative agriculture principles.
When it comes to community engagement, Belltrees Public School has led field days and tours of their school for more than 200 school students and community members to showcase agricultural practices at the school.
Scone also received highly commended in the Resource Recovery and Waste Management, Environmental Sustainability – Water Award, Environmental Communication and Engagement and Community Health, Wellbeing and Interest categories.
Gascoyne Junction in Western Australia took out the national overall award while Mount Liebig in the Northern Territory was highly commended in this top category.