South African schools that have developed food gardens are invited to enter Woolworths Trust EduPlant 2005 now! This is an opportunity for schools to be recognised and rewarded for their efforts in transforming their grounds into environmentally-friendly, food-rich environments. All entries must be submitted by the 30th of June 2005. Over the past 11 years, EduPlant has promoted and supported schools in the growing of food in a sustainable, natural way. Schools that participate in Woolworths Trust EduPlant play an important role in enhancing food security in their communities, and in helping to meet the nutritional needs of their learners. EduPlant is the leading schools food gardening and greening programme that is implemented nationally in association with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Landcare SA and SABC Education. This year, 63 schools will be chosen to participate in the Woolworths Trust EduPlant Finals, held at the end of September. Each finalist school will travel to Gauteng for this exciting three-day event, where they will have an opportunity to present their Permaculture projects to a panel of judges, participate in workshops and network with other schools. Each finalist school also wins a cash prize of R500 as well as environmental, health and gardening resources. There's additional prize money and resources that will be awarded to the winners of the emerging, intermediate, advanced and provincial categories. The Woolworths Trust EduPlant programme recognises the development of gardens over time. Schools that have just started their food garden can become finalists in the emerging category, which is for new entrants. The intermediate category is for schools with established gardens that have entered in EduPlant in previous years. Schools that have won before at EduPlant and that have implemented community outreach programmes are entrants in the advanced category. In addition 9 provincial winners are also selected. Earlier this year, more than 3600 educators attended 58 one-day Woolworths Trust EduPlant Permaculture workshops, held across the country. Educators gained valuable insight into how to design school gardens in ways that harmoniously combine plants, animals, buildings, water, people and landscapes. Many schools are recognising the benefits of food gardens. Principals and educators are realising that food security is one of the most important strategies to achieve sustainable social and economic development. Learning to grow food sustainably is a vital life skill. In addition, Permaculture food gardens provide schools with living, learning laboratories to deliver outcomes-based education in all learning areas. Schools with Permaculture food gardens play an important role in their communities and assist the whole country in the effort to eradicate poverty through sustainable food production. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity for your school! Enter the Woolworths Trust EduPlant 2005 competition by the 30th of June 2005. Get your entry forms from Food & Trees for Africa: Joanne Rolt on (011) 8039750, email joanne@trees.org.za or see www.tree.org.za/eduplant Woolworths Trust EduPlant page. Entries can be faxed to (011) 803 9750 OR email joanne@trees.org.za or post to FTFA, P O Box 2035, Gallo Manor, 2052

END Notes to Editors

  • Woolworths Trust EduPlant in association with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Landcare SA and SABC Education is co-ordinated by Food & Trees For Africa.
  • Permaculture is a system of gardening and farming that combines plants, animals, buildings, water, landscapes and people in a way that produces more energy than it uses, recycles all waste and nutrients, and imitates nature as much as possible. Through the Woolworths Trust EduPlant programme children learn how to brew natural pesticides, inter-plant crops and attract birds and useful insects. They make their own compost, collect rainwater and create gardening tools and ornaments from waste products. They experience the satisfaction of tending abundant gardens and reaping good food.
  • The Woolworths Trust was formed in 2003 as a consolidation of Woolworths' social investment strategy. The Trust integrates Woolworths' existing and future projects by serving as focused channel for meaningful social investment.
  • The Trust effectively brings Woolworths in line with global best practices of corporate citizenship.
  • The Woolworths Trust has three focus areas – nutritional education, environmental care and community development. These criteria reflect both national priorities and Woolworths' experience.
  • The Woolworths Trust has committed to a medium-term sponsorship of The Woolworths Trust EduPlant programme to ensure that the investment is sustained over the next two years.
  • The Woolworths Trust EduPlant programme is the Trust's main social investment project. The Trust will continue to donate approximately R100 million worth of food and R20 million worth of clothes to selected charities serving the needy and the poor.

South African schools that have developed food gardens are invited to enter Woolworths Trust EduPlant 2005 now!