Landcare Australia’s Junior Landcare program has always recognised the vital role children and young people play in caring for the environment. This year, as part of its 25th anniversary, Junior Landcare is calling on kids to share what they love most about the environment, and the steps they are taking to protect it.
Teaming up with ABC presenter and Junior Landcare ambassador, Costa Georgiadis, the ‘Love Letters to the Land’ campaign is encouraging children across the country to sit, reflect and connect with the natural world around them. This is because we know that for children to become passionate environmental advocates, they must first develop a genuine connection with nature.
“When we connect with nature; when we understand and when we love nature, then the next step is that we want to step up to protect it,” shares Costa. “For me, this campaign is about getting kids to take the time to observe how incredible nature is – from the local community park, beach or bushland to your backyard veggie patch or the plants on your balcony. I’m always inspired by the opportunities Junior Landcare provides children to engage with nature and can’t wait to hear from children themselves about the everyday actions they’re taking to step up for the planet.”
To help schools, youth groups and families get started with their Love Letters to the Land, Junior Landcare has created a starter kit with a curriculum-aligned letter-writing activity, special letter templates and ideas of what to do with letters once they have been written, from posting them to sister schools to sharing them with your local MP.
In addition, sample love letters from Costa and other notable figures will be made available for added inspiration throughout National Biodiversity Month and Mental Health Month.
A visit from Costa
Children are also invited to share their letters via Junior Landcare’s website for a chance to receive a visit from Costa to their school or youth group.
“With the intensifying impacts of climate change, we need to prepare and support the next generation to feel empowered to take action for our natural environment,” says Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish. “This starts by giving children an opportunity to learn first-hand how they can care for the environment and biodiversity around them; understand where their food comes from; understand waste management and immerse themselves in First Nations perspectives. One small step in their local patch will lead to many small steps that will make a large and lasting impact.”
Concludes Dr Norrish: “In addition to the curriculum-linked activities available in the Junior Landcare Learning Centre that have been designed to help bring environmental education into classrooms, campaigns such as this one allow us to recognise the contribution children can make when it comes to caring for our natural assets. This includes positively influencing those around them, and the benefits this can yield for the safe future of our land.”
Quick fact: Today’s children face up to seven times as many extreme weather events as people born in the 1960s experienced.
About Junior Landcare:
Landcare Australia’s Junior Landcare program provides children the opportunity to play an active role in ensuring the safe future of our natural environment. Launched in 1998, Junior Landcare recognises the vital role young Australians play in caring for the land, their environment and other natural resources. Through its campaigns, environmental education resources and grants program, Junior Landcare helps children to develop skills, share knowledge, create experiences and foster connections with place and community. Based on the four key areas of Junior Landcare – biodiversity, food production, waste management and recycling, and First Nations perspectives – the Junior Landcare Learning Centre provides curriculum-linked learning activities that have been developed by environmental educators to support hands-on learning among children of all ages. For more info, visit juniorlandcare.org.au.