Charles Sturt announces winners for annual sustainability grants program

23 OCTOBER 2020

Charles Sturt announces winners for annual sustainability grants program

Charles Sturt University has awarded four CSU Green sustainability grants to projects taking place at the University's Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Albury-Wodonga campuses.

  • Charles Sturt University awards more than $35,000 to four environmental projects as part of the 2020 CSU Green Sustainability Projects Grant
  • Grants awarded to projects at the University in Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Albury-Wodonga
  • Grants program is now in its 11th year, with this year’s grant winners aiming to enhance biodiversity and water use on their campus

Charles Sturt University has officially announced the four project winners of its annual Sustainability Projects Grant program.

The program, which is now in its 11th year and is funded and managed by CSU Green, provides grants for Charles Sturt’s staff and students to undertake environmental projects which further the University’s commitments towards sustainability.

The focus of this year’s program was for applicants to develop projects to enhance biodiversity and water use on the University’s campuses.

More than $35,000 was awarded in this year’s program, with each of the four winning projects awarded a grant of up to $10,000.

The winners of this year’s grants include:

  • A habitat enhancement project to create a more resilient squirrel glider population led by Dr Jonathon Howard from Albury-Wodonga.
  • A project monitoring the David Mitchell Wetlands for improved ecological outcomes led by Mr Matt Gill from Albury-Wodonga.  
  • An irrigated turf reduction project at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga led by Mr William Pollack.
  • A 'B&B Highway' or Native Garden for Pollinators at Charles Sturt in Bathurst led by Dr Simon Wright.

CSU Green Manager Mr Ed Maher congratulated the four grant winners and he looks forward to seeing the impactful work each project will achieve.

“For the past 11 years Charles Sturt University has funded a number of worthwhile sustainability projects, and thanks to our CSU Green Sustainability Grants and our hardworking recipients we’ve seen many incredible projects and results over the years,” Mr Maher said.

“I wish our four new grant winners all of the best with their projects and look forward to watching them progress and seeing the many positive impacts the projects will have for the environment and the wider community.

One of the winning projects from Albury-Wodonga will work to create a more resilient population of squirrel gliders by addressing landscape scale threats around the University’s Albury-Wodonga campus.

Populations are subject to several threatening processes that are destroying their habitat. The team hopes the project will provide a significant long-term refuge for the gliders in the area.

The second winning team from Albury-Wodonga will investigate the David Mitchell Wetlands to study and monitor activity by the endangered Sloane’s Froglet species and the water temperature of the wetlands at multiple locations.

This data will be made available across the University and in partnership with the wider NSW Government monitoring program to continue to manage the wetlands for improved biodiversity outcomes.

The winning Wagga Wagga project, led by the University’s grounds team, is responding to the challenge of hotter, drier conditions and less potable water use for irrigation on their campus.

The irrigated turf reduction project aims to adapt the campus’s landscaping by selectively reducing unhealthy turf areas and replacing them with climate suitable low or zero irrigated water landscapes in order to trial a practical and attractive substitute to irrigated turf.

Bathurst’s project winners are investigating how birds, bees and various types of insects within broader ecosystems play an essential role in pollinating crops that provide food. Their project aims to research, build and evaluate the impact of a 'B&B' or low-water native garden for local pollinators.

The four project grants add to the six Community University Partnership grants awarded by the University earlier this year to support community groups to implement projects with environmental outcomes.

More information about each of the four projects is available on the CSU Green current projects webpage.

CSU Green is Charles Sturt’s program and business area dedicated to advancing the University’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for all.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mr Ed Maher or the grant winners, contact Rebecca Akers at Charles Sturt Media on 0456 377 434 or news@csu.edu.au

Image note: A section of diseased turf on the Charles Sturt Wagga Wagga campus that is one of the proposed sites for the turf replacement.

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