The Big Green Challenge 2012

Sustainable Dunedin City Inc. proudly presents:

Dunedin’s Big Green Challenge!

Following on from the success of the Dunedin’s first Big Green Challenge, held in 2010, Sustainable Dunedin City Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of another Big Green Challenge. Applications for grants of $500 are invited for projects that will in some way help build community resilience in the face of climate change and the challenges of resource depletion. These may be in the field of food production, water, waste, transport, energy, resources, community building or anything else that you think would make your community better prepared for tough times ahead.

Sustainable Dunedin City Inc. not only want great ideas to be put into practice but to inspire others to do their bit to build sustainable and resilient communites and therefore are delighted that Dunedin’s community newspaper, The Star, is again partnering with Sustainable Dunedin City to promote the Big Green Challenge. They will be writing stories about the chosen projects and will be writing about some of the wider issues around building resilience in the community.

What the Big Green Challenge is offering?

There are ten grants of $500 available. We will also attempt to connect the sucessful applicants with an appropriate expert to act as mentor if this would be helpful. The Big Green Challenge will close with a celebratory event where someone from each project will give a brief presentation about what they have achieved.

Who can apply?

Both groups and individuals, of any age, living in Dunedin City may apply.

When is the Big Green Challenge happening?

  • Applications are now open and will close on 4th November 2012.

  • Applications will be reviewed and the successful applicants will be contacted by mid-November 2012

  • Projects can be carried out anytime over the summer as long as they are completed by the end of March 2013

  • The closing event will be held in early April.

How to apply?

The online application is available here:

You will need to:

  • explain how your project would contribute to the resilience and sustainablity of your community

  • describe how you would carry out the project including the who/when/where and how details

  • include a budget

  • agree to send a representative to the closing event to give a presentation on what you have achieved.

What sort of projects received funding in Dunedin’s previous Big Green Challenge?

Food production and learning the skills to grow food was a popular theme last time.

  • A group from Students Environmental Action (S.E.A) formed gardening gangs to build vege gardens for people in the community.

  • The Rudolf Steiner School got funded for two projects, one of which was to build a shelter belt to provide protection for their gardens on a rather exposed site.

  • At Queens High they built an edible garden using permaculture principles.

  • Karitane School used their grant to buy child-size gardening tools and had parents, grandparents and local residents all involved in building a school vege garden, teaching the children new skills and getting the local community involved in the schools activities.

  • Celia Neilson put together a calendar on local food with information about what to grow and when, and included delicious recipes using local produce.

Another necessity for resilient communities is good clean water, and several of the projects focused on this.

  • Opoho School already had a school vege patch but were concerned about watering it so they installed a rainwater barrel.

  • Warrington Water Wellbeing group were concerned with keeping the water in the local stream clean so they used their grant to build a fence to keep out livestock.

  • Karitane School planted along the banks of their stream to prevent erosion.

Other projects included:

  • A casual group of Facebook users, calling themselves the Dunedin Locavores, used the opportunity to hold workshops to build top bar beehives for participants to use in their backyards to provide themselves with honey and beeswax and their whole neighbourhoods with little buzzy plant pollinators.

  • A transport-related project was the building of a walking track at the Steiner School which has since been used extensively by pupils and the public.

From now until when applications close there will be links to articles and videos to give you ideas and to inspire you.

For more information contact the organiser on: 0223091156 or check out the Challenge Website at