VSGA is Celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2017!

Celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017, the Victorian Schools Garden Awards (VSGA) continues to grow and spread the message of the benefits that gardens play in respect of student learning, health and well-being.

The Victorian School Garden Awards (VSGA) has been operating since 1977 when by Paul Crowe OAM and the late Kevin Heinze began the program to bring the joy of gardens and gardening to school aged children.  

Now 40 years later and still going strong, the VSGA have a start of year grants program Grants designed to encourage school to start new gardens and provides seed funding towards school’s garden projects, an end of year awards program celebrating school's gardening achievements and regularly hold teacher professional development workshops on the basics of school gardening and engaging our children in nature based education and play. 

The VSGA’s mission is to inspire school communities, to develop, grow and celebrate their gardening achievements while promoting a lifelong connection with their natural environment and improving student learning, health and wellbeing.  

Our secret mission is to help generate future employees and/ or customers of the nursery industry by engaging children in gardening at an early age. Research shows that childhood experiences in gardens are strongly linked with adult’s attitudes toward plants. By encouraging schools to get kids involved in garden programs not only are we educating our children on the joys of gardening but growing the next generation of gardeners/employees for our industry.    

Last year the VSGA grants and awards programs distributed $50,000 worth of vouchers to be redeemed at NGIV retail member nurseries to successful schools across the state and provided another $19,000 in in-kind products.

This year VSGA is hoping to expand its offering to Victorian schools, making 2017 our biggest year yet and is looking for industry support to join us by sponsoring one or both programs.  

The VSGA Program is a great way to: 

  • Introduce a new generation to the benefits that gardening can bring from health, to environment and climate change

  • Encourage teachers to use school gardens as teaching aides, delivering improved learning outcomes and wellbeing of students

  • Engage students as advocates in their households for the importance of green life, particularly in urban environments.

  • Provide demonstration sites in local communities and show sustainability practices in action.

  • Encourage students to consider a career in horticulture and help address the skills shortage.

  • Generate a future generation of customers to the horticulture industry.

For more information about the Victorian Schools Garden Awards and our programs, please visit www.schoolsgardenawards.org.au.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the 2017 Victorian Schools Garden Awards and being involved in one of the many exciting opportunities that the VSGA presents, please contact Craig Taberner, NGIV CEO or Tania Karamitos, VSGA Program Co-ordinator on (03) 9576 0599.