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Project announcement


A new project will see Townsville schools turn food waste into soil health in a circular economy model that will benefit local waterways and the Great Barrier Reef.

The ‘Townsville’s Tuckshops Tackling Climate Change with Innovative Circular Economy’ project from Atlas Soils has received seed funding to see local school students turn their tuckshop and home waste into HumiSoil® for use in sporting fields, food-growing beds, and to sell for school income.

The project will be delivered by teams from Atlas Soils and Three Big Rivers.

“By encouraging Townsville students — and in turn our community — to engage in world-leading soil practices, Townsville is stepping up its carbon sequestration, creating circular economies, and contributing to improved biodiversity and waterway health for the benefit of the Great Barrier Reef,” says our Executive Officer, Kara-Mae Coulter-Atkins.

The project will see students learn about sustainability, environmental science, climate economics, and environmental stewardship through hands-on activities led by educators from Atlas Soils and local First Nations organisation, Three Big Rivers. 

“What a fantastic hands-on way for Townsville’s young people to take action for their local environment,” Kara adds. “Healthier soils and carbon-friendly waste practices have flow-on benefits for our waterways and Reef.”

Curriculum will combine learnings from the Reef Assist program (‘Ecological Fitness and Combining First Nations Wisdom with Modern Science’) and soil health materials co-developed by Atlas Soils and Townsville City Council. 

The project will see two schools complete the Grounds to Grounds program as a pilot for future expansion. 

A successful Community Action Plan (CAP) project

The Grounds to Ground project is one of three successful projects to receive kickstart funding from the Townsville Community Action Plan (CAP) for Rivers & Reef. CAP projects address waterway issues of priority as identified by Townsville itself; in particular stormwater runoff and climate change.

Townsville’s CAP has been made possible by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and is co-led by the Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters and Reef Ecologic.