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Who Won the First Mosman Environmental Foundation Grants?

New grants spark a bush school, marine boost and a war on weeds

A youth bush school and a new project to boost biodiversity on Mosman’s harbour foreshores are two projects being funded by the Mosman Environmental Foundation inaugural grants program, their Chairman Dr David Robertson announced recently. 

Dr Robertson said four winners would receive almost $80,000 from Mosman Environmental Foundation (MEF) to launch new projects that will benefit the local environment. 

He also called on organisations and educational institutions with ideas to benefit Mosman’s environment to launch their own bids for funding in the round now underway and closing July 31. 

“I’m proud to announce that these are the first ever grants to be offered by the Foundation which was established with a donation from the late Don Seaton, a Mosman man who was passionate about our environment,” Dr Robertson said. 

“I am sure Mr Seaton would be happy to see his wishes being brought to life in helping to educate our young people about our natural environment and to improve local environmental outcomes through a range of projects.” 

“Applications are for anything that helps our natural environment, including air, soil, water, flora or fauna, so we have a wide latitude of potential projects we can consider.” 

The First Round Winners

▪ EcoWalk Tours: Youth Bush School – $9,400

▪ Sydney Institute of Marine Science: SIMS Living Seawalls – $41,800

▪ Mosman Parks and Bushland Association: Intensive weeding program – $9,790

▪ Blessed Sacrament School: Sensory garden – $16,960

MEF also considers funding proposals throughout the year and will consider applications which fall outside the times of announced funding rounds. 

“I sincerely thank my fellow Foundation Board members for their work to bring better environmental outcomes to Mosman and I hope that some of the projects allow us to provide innovation and learnings that can be applied elsewhere,” Dr Robertson said. 

“I look forward to receiving some inspirational ideas to progress Mosman’s natural environment – be it research or studies, or projects to improve our local environment or education. 

“Our world is facing urgent ecological problems resulting from overpopulation and development and not enough consideration of our impacts on the environment.” 

“It would be marvellous to see some potential solutions on a smaller scale to the wider-world challenges we face.” 

Mosman Environmental Foundation
Alan Toner (left) from EcoWalk Tours with David Robertson from the Mosman Environmental Foundation

EcoWalks Tours Youth Bush School

EcoWalks Tours will establish a pilot ‘Youth Bush School’ in Mosman to help improve the local natural environment. It will deliver quality education to improve young people’s inquiry, knowledge and skills about Australia’s First Nations People and the local bushland in an inclusive learning environment. 

The School will work to restore, rehabilitate, regenerate and protect Mosman bushland along the foreshore trail between Little Sirius Cove to Athol Wharf Road via Whiting Beach which has many environmental issues and Aboriginal heritage sites. 

Young people will learn about the native flora and fauna, landscapes and landforms, Indigenous culture of the Gai-mariagal people, art and bushcraft, bushwalking and navigation and participate in environmental projects like beach conservation and land regeneration. 

For more information visit https://ecowalktours.com.au/

Contact Alan Toner 0406 787 684 alan@ecowalktours.com.au 

mosman environmental foundation
Aria Lee (second from left), Living Seawalls Project Manager at SIMS, with Clare Taylor (far left), David Robertson (centre right) and Yolande Stone (far right) from the Mosman Environmental Foundation

Sydney Institute of Marine Science – Living Seawalls

Living Seawalls has innovated a mechanism of enhancing marine life on new or existing seawalls. Modular habitat panels mimicking features of nature, such as rockpools, crevices and hollows, are fitted to seawalls to increase surface area for marine life and to add missing protective habitats. With the support of MEF, Living Seawalls will install habitat enhancement panels along the seawall at Ellery Park, and conduct biodiversity surveys of the organisms inhabiting the area. Living Seawalls in other parts of Sydney Harbour support at least 36% more species than plain, unmodified seawalls and we expect to see similar results at the new Ellery Park seawall. This means the area will support more invertebrates, seaweed and fish, increasing biodiversity along the shorelines of Mosman LGA. 

For more information visit http://www.sims.org.au/

Contact Aria Lee Project Manager – Living Seawalls 0416 215 817 aria.lee@sims.org.au 

If you want to know more about SIMS, check out our recent article about their link to Prince William here!

Mosman Environmental Foundation
Jesse Muir (pictured back right) is a Year 2 Teacher at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School Clifton Gardens. Pictured with Directors of the Mosman Environmental Foundation

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School – Sensory Garden

Children with teachers and experts will design and deliver a sensory garden to provide sensory stimulation to kids with diverse learning needs and raise awareness of human interaction with nature through all the senses. The sensory garden being imagined and designed by children will encourage their unique voice and active involvement in their education, their love for nature, native plants and the outdoors, so they can become lifelong kaitiakitanga (guardians of the environment). 

The small school, with no large open spaces for children to play aims for the Sensory Garden to be a place where children can be fully immersed in nature and also as a hands-on outdoor classroom. The Garden is also the first step of a potentially larger project with University of Sydney and a provider of playground equipment to prototype an innovative learning and play area that will mix playground elements (climbing, bars, cycle) with the environment and sensory elements (nature garden, wildflowers, water pump, musical elements). 

Contact Jesse Muir 02 9969 7758 jesse.muir@syd.catholic.edu.au 

Mosman Environmental Foundation
Kate Eccles and David Robertson

Mosman Parks and Bushland Association – Intensive weeding program in cliff habitats

Mosman’s bush volunteers will get a welcome helping hand with funding to hire a team of professional bush regenerators to clear heavy infestations of Asparagus Fern (Asparagus aethiopicus) and other weeds from inaccessible and dangerous parts of Chowder Head. The regeneration team on loan from the National Parks & Wildlife Service will support the long-term efforts of volunteers including the original 1964 sister team of Eileen and Joan Bradley who pioneered a regeneration method that had for many years kept the area pristine. Weed removal and regeneration of the native ecological community will encourage a return of native birds, insects and other biodiversity which has been radically thinned by development and infestation of exotic weeds. 

Contact Kate Eccles at Mosman.parks@gmail.com 0414 960 290