Local students lead the way to environmental change
Student leaders from across the region met for the first instalment of the Young Environmental Leaders Program in Naracoorte earlier this term.
The South East NRM Board’s program saw a big increase in school participation with 90 students from 23 schools participating this year, compared to 62 students and 15 schools in 2019.
Environmental Education Coordinator Vanessa Freebairn said students were keen to learn and build on their knowledge of environmental issues.
“The big increase in numbers this year is really encouraging,” Vanessa said.
“We’re excited about the enthusiasm of this year’s student group, and the support of their schools, to learn about our local landscape and the challenges we face in the region.”
Students spent the morning of the first forum in Blanche Cave listening to presentations on pest plants and animals, protecting the coast, water in our landscape, and local biodiversity.
Following the talks, students then brainstormed ideas for projects they will work on with their schools for the year.
Taylor from Naracoorte South Primary School was excited to be involved and learn more about local environmental issues.
“I nominated to be in YELP because I thought it would be cool and interesting,” Taylor said.
“I want to help the environment as much as I can. I also hope to learn more about the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo and how my school can help them.”
The next meeting of the YELP group will be at the Earthkeepers Camp, scheduled for later in the year.
“This year we’re focussing on local landscape topics - pests, biodiversity, water, and soils,” Vanessa said.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the creative projects the YELP students will lead.”