Above Intrepid Landcarers enjoying a social get-together while walking to Wilhelmina Falls in the Murrindindi Scenic Reserve in January 2021.
Intrepid Landcare is a platform for people from their late teens to thirties to come together and create the change they want to see in the world.
It combines Landcare activities with social events to engage young people with the environment while connecting them with other like-minded people.
We were introduced to the concept of Intrepid Landcare in 2018 through an Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreat and then embarked on starting a group in Murrindindi Shire and the surrounding Upper Goulburn area. There was a visible lack of young people in our local Landcare groups, so we were prepared for this to be challenging.
We held information stalls at local markets and placed flyers around towns to promote Intrepid Landcare in the community.
We held our first expression of interest get-together in June 2019 and were delighted to attract a group of eight passionate young people who were keen to make a difference while also having fun.
Since then, we have hosted multiple events throughout the region that have combined Landcare activities and adventure. These included planting days, bonfires, social days at the snow, weed removal, fauna surveys, hiking, rubbish collection and documentary and movie nights.
One of our biggest challenges was keeping our group engaged during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Social media helped us to stay connected and we ran an online scavenger event during one of the lockdowns so that we could keep having fun with each other while isolated.
Four teams of people were given a week to tick items off the scavenger list. Some items were simple, some silly and others required a bit of imagination, but all were intended to get us out into nature and to share some fun. Some of the items on the list included finding four wildflowers, making someone smile, and tracking your walk or run route to spell out intrepid. The level of participation was great and there was lots of energy and enthusiasm.
We’ve been able to run several in-person events now the restrictions have eased and have welcomed some new faces to the group. It is an inspiring and supportive group to be a part of, and it has been very personally fulfilling for us to help connect young people with each other and our local environment.
According to Bernadette Young, every person she’s met through the group feels like a friend.
“I’ve loved how genuine and welcoming everyone has been. It’s been great to meet people who share the attitude of giving and receiving, not just wanting to put your own wants first. A highlight was sharing burritos in a cabin near Marysville before tackling a holly invasion the next morning,” Bernadette said.
Jess Robinson and Annette Cavanagh are co-leaders Upper Goulburn Intrepid Landcare Group. For more information email email@example.com