Enviro Champs wanted

A garden that helps to support people with cancer has demonstrated the power of Hume’s Enviro Champions program.

Council today called on residents with a passion for environmental sustainability to register their interest in being a 2016 Enviro Champion.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the efforts of Jim Wilson had shown how Enviro Champions could stimulate both environmental and health benefits.

“Jim volunteers each week to nurture a produce garden which helps in the therapy of people with cancer,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The garden is located near the Sunbury Neighbourhood House, and it grows plants that stimulate the senses of people who have been unwell.

“Jim has helped to rejuvenate the garden beds and develop an area which is now luscious and fruitful.

“He is a dedicated Enviro Champion and often takes the time to teach others about the way plants can produce a therapeutic benefit.

“Jim’s work is a terrific example of how a project that is good for the environment is also great for the mental and physical health of people.”

The garden, on Elizabeth Drive in Sunbury, has been advanced with the assistance of the Cancer and Natural Therapy Foundation.

People with a passion for sustainability and the environment can register their interest in Hume’s Enviro Champions program via Liz Turner, on 9205 2845 or envirochampions@hume.vic.gov.au

Places are filling fast and people are encouraged to register soon.

The program is open to anyone who lives, works, studies or plays in Hume.

Council offers free training sessions to its Enviro Champions between February and April, and the sessions support Champions to design and develop a project that enhances the local environment.

Between May and August, Enviro Champions put their new skills into practice, and work with residents and community organisations to lead their own local environment project.

In recent years, Enviro Champions have written a book about native bees, and presented workshops on how people can save energy and reduce waste.

Some participants have also grown fruit trees in Hume parks, so that people who live in surrounding streets can enjoy fresh fruit for free.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume’s Enviro Champions program was a great way for residents to learn many different skills and test out their abilities.

“A big theme of the program is leadership, because we want participants to encourage others to support their project and lend a hand,” she said.

“The regular and practical training sessions are a great way to get to know others in the community, and many of Hume’s Enviro Champions have become terrific friends.

“Next year will be the fifth year that Hume has coordinated its Enviro Champions initiative, and I predict that it will be our best year yet!”

A total of 15 places are available in the 2016 Enviro Champions program, and training sessions commence on Wednesday 24 February 2016.

Earlier this year, the Enviro Champions initiative won the Community Action Leadership accolade at the Keep Australia Beautiful – Victoria 2015 Sustainable Cities Awards.

For further information, visit here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 11 December 2015

Updated : 4:48 PM, 11 December 2015

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