This September, host of Gardening Australia and Landcare champion Costa Georgiadis is joining forces with Junior Landcare to ask Aussie kids: 'What's in your backyard?'
Throughout National Biodiversity Month and the school holidays, children are encouraged to grab a camera, or use a mobile phone camera, to capture photos of the flora and fauna in their backyard, and then share them with Costa and Junior Landcare, explaining why their backyard is important to them.
"We're calling on all Aussie kids to get outside and explore their local environment," Costa said.
"Your backyard might be a garden. If you live in an apartment, your garden could be plants on your balcony. You may live near a park or bushland area, or a river or wetland.
"You may live on the coast close to the sea, or on a farm - these could all be your backyard!"
Children, via their parents, carers and educators, can submit photos to the Junior Landcare website, under one of four themes including biodiversity, food production, First Nations perspectives and waste management, to be in the running to win one of nine cameras (RRP $250) and other prizes.
One school or youth group will also win a visit from Costa to check out their environmental projects.
Joining Costa as a campaign supporter and host of Channel 10's The Living Room, Barry Du Bois, says that he wants his ten-year-old twins, Bennett and Arabella, to experience the same sense of wonder around nature that he had when he was young.
"As a young boy, I loved exploring the creeks, beaches, animals and secret hiding spots in my own backyard, and I want that for Bennett and Arabella.
"There's something magical about nature, and the 'What's in your Backyard' campaign will help kids to find that magic in their own backyards."
'What's in your backyard?' is a key activity of Junior Landcare's Learning Centre. The online platform features fun, easy-to-use learning activities developed by education professionals to help children be aware, empowered and active in caring for their local environment.
The resources have all been designed to help children build knowledge and deeper connections to biodiversity, where their food comes from, recycling and waste management, and First Nations perspectives.
This year, together with First Nations educator, Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp, 10 new First Nations learning activities have been developed by Landcare Australia to teach children and educators about how to have a connection to Country.
"Young people play a vital role in caring for our environment, which needs all the help it can get," Costa said.
"Junior Landcare gives children - no matter where they are across the country - the opportunity to understand nature, connect with it and take action to protect the world around them.
"With Junior Landcare, we are educating the next generation of Landcarers - and this starts with parents, carers and educators encouraging simple moments outdoors," says Costa.
The 'What's in your backyard?' campaign opens on September 6, as part of National Biodiversity Month, and closes on October 31.
Find out more at www.juniorlandcare.org.au
ACM is a media partner of Landcare Australia.
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