Each year the Lead Alliance offer Mount Isa residents with young children the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes by joining the Backyard Improvement Program. The program was established to stimulate Mount Isa residents with young families to create lead safe and water wise gardens/backyards for children and families to enjoy. All participants received a Bunnings “starter kit” which included basic items to assist families to “get started” with their gardens.
The mission of the families is to reduce bare soil areas in their yards and or gardens that are accessible to children. The positive changes will assist decrease the risk of elevated blood lead levels in children.
In 2022, the Lead Alliance received 33 entries from local families who had been working hard on making lead safe improvements to their yards. To participate, the families were required to submit “before” images of the areas of the yard they intend on making improvements to and upon completion of the program (approximately Five months later) provide “after” images which are subject to independent judging.
This year, the awards were hosted at The Rose Garden Nursery with nursery owners and sponsors Raelene and Kev in attendance and Representing Bunnings was Tash Rayner and Renee Collins. Local couple Jon Timmer, Shakira Hollingsworth and Baby Olivia received First place winning the Karumba Holiday Package – Two nights’ accommodation at End of the Road Motel PLUS breakfast daily, Family Pass with FERRYMAN RIVER CRUISES, $200 Caltex Fuel Voucher and $150 Sunset Tavern Voucher. On being asked what advice you give anyone contemplating entering next year, Mr Timmer advised “I would say give it a go. It was something we did, getting out in the yard each weekend and working away at the yard and well worth it.”
Second place winning family Luke Beazley, Amanda Kaminski and Blair Beazley received the WEBBER Q (Q2000) plus 8 Piece Tool Kit, they were thrilled with their prize and had it on a Christmas wish list, their project was a family task with removing a pool and mentioned the turf laying was an interesting experience with laying it past Midnight!!
Young family Tayla Bawden & Devyn Tamati were selected in 3rd place where they hired machinery to remove dirt from a slopping backyard to create a flatter surface with then building a retaining wall and garden beds. Installing pop-up sprinklers in the bare soil following covering the dirt with lush turf. Their prize being $200 voucher donated by The Rose Garden Nursery.
The fourth prize was $50 Bunnings voucher, Highly Commended Marion Braun won Highly Commended who achieved growing fruit trees fertilizer assisted with the achieving new lawn and beautiful flowers.
The Lead Alliance would like to thank the following sponsors for making this program a possibility The Rose Garden Nursery, Bunnings Warehouse Mount Isa, End of the Road Motel, Sunset Tavern Karumba Point, North Queensland, Ferryman River Cruises Karumba, BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing, Queensland Government, Mount Isa City Council Glencore, North West Hospital and Health Service. Without their ongoing support, the program would not be as successful as it is today and we value their commitment and support of the program.
The Backyard Improvement Program will be back and available to Mount Isa residents again in 2023. Keep an eye out on social media and via various media outlets in March 2023.