For­est and Bird’s young wings

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - MAR­CIA WELCH, FOR­EST & BIRD

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.

PHOTO: NIKKI HART­LEY

Film­maker Sarah Rids­dale with For­est & Bird’s Anthea McClel­land

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