A suite of initiatives developed at Griffith University to enhance knowledge and understanding of biodiversity in South-East Queensland has been highly commended at a prestigious national award for sustainability practice.
Growing at Griffith, a project led by the School of Environment’s Professor Catherine Pickering and PhD candidate Mr Mark Ballantyne, was commended in the Facilities & Services category at the Green Gown Awards Australasia finals ceremony in Hobart.
Now in its fifth year, the Green Gown Awards scheme recognises excellence in sustainability best practice within the tertiary sector. The awards are administered by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS).
Professor Pickering says the commendation is a testament to the dedication of Griffith academics, students and facilities staff, local councils and communities, all of whom made invaluable contributions to the goals, style and content for Growing at Griffith.
“This is reward for effort and reflects Griffith’s sustainability principles in promoting the conservation and enjoyment of Australia’s unique flora and fauna,” she says.
Growing at Griffith comprises three major sustainability platforms, the first being GrowsAtGriffith, a free, multi-platform app with information on more than 300 plants found at all five Griffith campuses, as well as hundreds of images and further search options.
“South-East Queensland is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots,” says Professor Pickering. “There are more than 4000 species of plants native to the region and more than 750 can be found growing at Griffith.
“With GrowsAtGriffith, users can search for plants by colour, leaf shape, location and time of year and then browse through images and facts about the species on their devices.”
Growing at Griffith also includes the formulation of new planting strategies for the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses, while a partnership with the Logan City Council has culminated in funding for a major restoration and revegetation project.
Involving approximately eight hectares of land at Griffith’s Logan campus, the finished work will include an arboretum to serve as an education resource for the University and community.
Griffith University’s EcoCentre was a finalist in the Social Responsibility category of the Green Gown Awards, which this year included 39 nominees from 26 tertiary institutions.