Forest and Bird’s young wings
Enticing young people into conservation causes and environmental issues is the aim of a new group set up by Forest and Bird.
Forest and Bird Manawatu Youth is dedicated to educating and involving the region’s budding environmentalists, and with it comes a new and exciting strategy for increasing awareness among Manawatu’s younger generation.
It is targeting high school pupils, tertiary students and beyond who represent an age group the organisation finds itself lacking.
While Forest and Bird holds monthly meetings in Palmerston North, along with hosting keynote speakers and organising educational trips, the presence of younger people to these events and on these excursions is minimal.
That’s despite Palmerston North’s population being one of the country’s youngest in terms of demographics, with its tertiary institutions and Defence Force bases contributing to this high pro- portion of young people.
Setting up a youth branch provides a new opportunity to engage this age group, and Forest and Bird Manawatu Youth welcomes anyone within this age bracket to join in and become involved.
Run by young people for young people, the Manawatu youth branch provides an excellent chance to channel passion and energy to bring about social change.
While holding the same core values about raising awareness of threats to the environment and contributing to conservation as its parent organisation, the youth branch will play a crucial role in shaping leaders of the future.
To kickstart this movement, the group has launched the Getting Wilder photo competition, encouraging entries that show a connection with nature.
It’s open to those between 13 and 29 for a chance to win several prizes. The finalists will be displayed during EnviroFest in October.
For links to the competition and for more information about the group, see their Facebook page @ForestandBirdManawatuYouth.
Filmmaker Sarah Ridsdale with Forest & Bird’s Anthea McClelland