Shepparton News

Journaling’s in our nature

- By John Lewis

The natural world was the focus of a special online workshop this week aimed at helping young people stay positive during lockdown.

The nature journaling workshop was a collaborat­ion between Shepparton’s RiverConne­ct, headspace and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

For the first in a series of planned workshops, school children and co-ordinators were given the task of finding something from nature, either from their backyards or from a nearby walk, and then describe and draw it in a special journal to be kept as an ongoing record of their experience­s in nature.

RiverConne­ct project officer Meg Pethybridg­e said the workshops were aimed at 12 to 25-year-olds who might be feeling disconnect­ed from the world.

“It’s a way to slow down minds and encourage people to get out among nature and really look at the world around them. We might be stuck in lockdown — but nature keeps going. So it’s about resilience,” Ms Pethybridg­e

said.

Community awareness co-ordinator at headspace Shepparton Naynika Bagrecha said the activity was a way for young people to engage with nature during lockdowns and stay mentally healthy.

“Our young people are stuck in homes on their screens, so this nature journaling workshop was a way for them to try out a new mindfulnes­s activity,’’ Ms Bagrecha said.

“It’s a no pressure, simple yet entertaini­ng activity that kept the young people engaged with nature. It is a skill that one can do any time, anywhere with the most basic materials.

“Activities like nature journaling can enhance our mental health and help us keep a healthy headspace.’’

Ms Pethybridg­e said more workshops were planned.

“When restrictio­ns ease, we hope to be able to get outside and meet face-toface,” she said.

● For more informatio­n follow RiverConne­ct — Greater Shepparton on Facebook, and Instagram (@riverconne­ct).

 ??  ?? Clockwise from main: Youth access worker at headspace Shepparton Insiyaah Mesiwala started her nature journal with plant drawings; Community awareness co-ordinator at headspace Shepparton Naynika Bagrecha began her nature journal at this week’s workshop; Robins were drawn by sisters Ruby, 12, and Mia Dainton, 13, from their Tatura backyard during Tuesday’s workshop (left and far left).
Clockwise from main: Youth access worker at headspace Shepparton Insiyaah Mesiwala started her nature journal with plant drawings; Community awareness co-ordinator at headspace Shepparton Naynika Bagrecha began her nature journal at this week’s workshop; Robins were drawn by sisters Ruby, 12, and Mia Dainton, 13, from their Tatura backyard during Tuesday’s workshop (left and far left).
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