GreenHeroes is an organisation that aims to raise little conservationists. With research showing that the early formation of ideas about life impact on our career choices and character development, it certainly makes sense to start ‘em young when it comes to taking care of the planet. Sarah Jantos talked to us about what GreenHeroes actually does and why.
“Research shows that by the age of seven, children witness scenes, are involved in activities and are exposed to events that begin to concrete in us – the moral codes we live by,” explains Sarah.
“It is also at this age that children are actively seeking ways to make an impact, which we usually recall in the negative – tantrums and obstinance for example! This same wandering energy, when shifted into the positive, becomes a great power and an incredible delight to watch.
“Children are born nature lovers,” she continues.
“If this love is nurtured at a young age; an inspired tree climber, birdwatcher, gardener or wildlife photographer emerges. These are the up-and-coming conservationists of our world – a generation of child whom, based on this early love of nature – will stretch far beyond environmental compliance. A generation for whom a common knowledge of the way the natural world operates is the norm.
“GreenHeroes will grow to understand how to interpret weather patterns, read and observe subtle shifts and changes in plant life, wildlife and ocean life.
“They will live a life that creates no rubbish, they will know how to store their own renewable energies. They will care for wildlife. They will regenerate. They will tread lightly because they fell in love with nature when they were young – and they cannot turn their backs on it.”
It’s a beautiful and hopeful image for the future; a child with muddy hands, bare feet and mossy hair being a part of a worldwide conservation effort.
The GreenHeroes team consists of Sarah, a dedicated wildlife carer and scientists Nicole McLachlan and Jordyn DeBoer. Together they have run Sunday community events over the last 12 months. Programs have included marine science expeditinos, beach cleans, dune care, planting days and days in the forest, and feedback from parents and children has been enormously positive. Now the team are looking to expand into pre-schools and primary schools. Sarah explains.
“The Wild For Life program is aimed at bringing the GreenHeroes philosophy into schools and bring learning outdoors.
“The program for first term of 2017 is themed around wildlife conservation. However, outdoor learning encompasses so much more than just the topic being addressed.
“For example, planting a butterfly garden, creates an atmosphere for problem solving, decision making, number relationships, structures, complex vocabulary, healthy living, cause and effect, creativity, imaginative thinking to name a few.”
Other topics offered by the team include: bird friendly yards, native bees, supporting wildlife carers, saving wildlife one plastic piece at a time, nesting box workshops, conservation of reptile habitat and reptile show, insect and bug shows and butterfly life cycle kits.