Gumlu State School is looking to become a model of environmental sustainability, and a NQBP EcoPorts grant is helping the 12-student school achieve that goal.
NQBP Director of Sustainability and External Relations Gary Campbell says he is delighted to see the grant directed towards the installation of the school’s own chicken coop.
“The chicken coop is an innovative addition for the EcoPorts grant program, which has also helped to kick-start kitchen gardens, recycling programs and a trial of fishing line disposal bins,” he says.
“The EcoPorts grants create awareness, understanding and appreciation for the environment, and NQBP is proud to support grassroots initiatives that engage Bowen region’s young people.”
Gumlu State School Principal Thomas Harrington says the idea for the chicken coop was to work in conjunction with their ‘naked lunchbox’ project, designed to eliminate plastics and rubbish from the school grounds.
The chickens play their part by eating food scraps.
“One thousand dollars might not seem like a lot of money, but for us it is huge,” says Mr Harrington.
“A project like this in a small school allows for all the students to get involved and really learn from their experiences outside of the classroom as well as inside.”
Mr Harrington says while they planned originally to purchase chickens only, with snakes already hanging around, the addition of guinea fowl would help to chase them away.
“The chickens and guinea fowl will be completely free range, wandering around the school grounds throughout the day and only locked into their chicken coop at night to avoid the dingoes,” he says.