Working with future environmental leaders a dream come true
10 March 2015
Eight Mid North schools will participate in Natural Resources Northern and Yorke’s (NRNY) Young Environmental Leaders program this year. This is exciting news for local woman Bonnie Maynard, who will deliver the program.
"For me this is a dream come true, to be able to return to my home town and work with young people in our schools," the Lower & Mid North District Community Ranger said.
Ms Maynard attended Watervale Primary School and Clare High School before going to Adelaide University where she completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at Roseworthy Agricultural College.
"I’m really excited," Ms Maynard said, "because we have doubled the number of participating schools this year from four to eight."
Four students from eight schools have been selected for the district’s Young Environmental Leaders (YEL) program. Each school will receive a $500 grant to plan and deliver their project.
Students met recently to plan their projects at forums hosted by Blyth and Watervale Primary schools. They shared what they value about the environment, heard about projects that returning schools had done, and were introduced to the idea of sustainability.
"We also chose species of the Northern and Yorke Region to represent each school group, asking the students to design a logo for their YEL name badges."
Other schools involved in the YEL project include Spalding, Balaklava, Clare, Auburn and Snowtown Primary Schools and Brinkworth Area School.
Ms Maynard said that Brinkworth is an inspiring example of an on-going school project that now has wider community support. The Brinkworth community is developing a ‘back-to-nature’ play area, revegetating what was a large lawned area with native plants and other natural elements including a dry creekbed.
" When completed this will be a great example of a sustainable play space, dramatically reducing the amount of water the school uses to maintain its grounds."
Ms Maynard said there are many benefits for students being involved in the YEL program.
"They learn presentation, communication and leadership skills, how to mentor other students, problem-solving and decision-making, as well as the opportunity to make new friends."
NRNY’s Young Environmental Leaders program is also being delivered by community rangers in Yorke and Upper North-Southern Flinders districts.