Awards encourage positive change

By Country News

Parks Victoria is encouraging community members to apply for its Environmental Sustainability Award in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

Launched in 2002, the awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions that individuals, communities and businesses make throughout Victoria.

Applicants for the Environmental Sustainability Award should highlight how their project or initiative contributes to the preservation of the environment and in turn improves the health and wellbeing of local communities.

The successful recipient will be able to describe how the project or initiative is educating or changing community behaviour, particularly with regard to co-benefiting nature and human health.

Parks Victoria chief executive officer Matthew Jackson said parks offered communities a range of opportunities to get active in nature.

‘‘Victoria’s parks and waterways protect more than 4300 native plants and around 1000 native animal species and the habitats they live in,’’ Mr Jackson said.

‘‘A growing body of research tells us that time spent in nature improves people’s health, reduces stress and promotes physical wellbeing.

‘‘With more people benefiting from a daily dose of nature in parks, Parks Victoria aims to ensure our valued parks, and the natural assets and cultural heritage they hold, can be enjoyed now and by future generations and is supportive of community projects and initiatives that also work towards this goal.’’

■Nominations close Wednesday, July 3.

The full list of award categories, information on how to apply and prize details are available at: