Illawarra Intrepid Landcare is an Illawarra based Landcare group on the east coast of Australia, NSW, which engages young people aged late teens to thirty-something year olds. The group moves around and assists existing Bushcare, Landcare and other conservation groups with their local environmental projects.
Activities range from planting trees to seed collections, removing weeds and fencing for conservation, wildlife monitoring and mapping activities.
Landcare is a national grass roots movement which involves community groups of volunteers all over Australia who are working towards repairing their local environment.
Individuals and groups work to protect, restore and sustainably manage Australia’s natural environment and its productivity. In its infancy, initiatives aimed to improve agricultural productivity through sustainable land management, but over time the movement has grown and evolved from this to a broader focus on sustainable management of all of Australia’s natural resource assets, and now encompasses individuals and groups across the whole landscape from coastal to urban and remote areas of Australia.
With over 6000 “Care” groups nationwide, volunteers range from young children to retirees, surfers to farmers and CEO’s to students. United by a shared desire to create positive change in their communities, these individuals recognise that as a group their efforts have greater impact in their local area.
Landcare as a national movement is struggling to engage the next generation though. The 25+ year old movement has an aging demographic and there is a strong concern that the longevity of local projects and the movement is at risk.
The Illawarra Intrepid Landcare model attempts to address this issue by working with youth, young adults, and the wider Landcare community to design and develop projects young people are interested in participating in. To date Illawarra Intrepid Landcare has contributed to over 26 projects across NSW, and has inspired two new Intrepid Landcare groups to form across Australia.
Today, the group exists as a cutting edge model for Landcare which challenges the traditional model of Landcare. Illawarra Intrepid Landcare provides multifaceted, low impact, educational, nature-based experiences for young people, which allow for positive interactions with the natural environment, an opportunity to learn about local issues, and also gives young people a space to make social connections with other young people who have a passion for the great outdoors.
The group aims to connect young people to nature, community and each other through adventurous volunteer opportunities developed for young people by young people.
Text, photo and video are submitted by Megan Rowlatt (Australia) – intrepidlandcare(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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