After successfully leading a group of North Coast youths to attend the recent PowerShift conference in Sydney, YES (Youth Environmental Society) are taking their next step towards creating a generation of eco-minded adolescents.

‘Let’s Grow Lismore’ is their latest project, a day of tree-planting, displays and guest speakers, music, free food and sport, designed to bring the youth of the Northern Rivers together in a fun, safe environment while maintaining the health and biodiversity of our beautiful region.

The event, to be held on the 19th of September, was made possible only because of a grant YES recently received from Lismore City Council as part of their Youth Activities Fund.

“We really had to work hard to get the grant, as the selection criteria asked us to address many current issues facing the kids of our region. That’s why we settled on a tree planting day — not only does it promote the environment and sustainability, but provides a great social meeting place for youth from all over our region who wouldn’t normally come together for such an event,” said Darcy Garlick-Kelly, YES’s media spokesperson. 

To be held on an unused plot of land graciously donated by Richmond River High School, the day will be designed to recreate the flood-plain rainforest that once dominated the low-lying land around Lismore.

YES Steering Committee member Ahri Tallon said: “It’s great because not only can we extend an endangered ecological community from Currie Park to the other side of the road, but if we are successful in rehabilitating the site it will encourage similar planting projects around Lismore.”

A unique and important aspect of YES’s ‘Let’s Grow Lismore’ is the inclusion of YOUth Decide, a project being co-ordinated by World Vision and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

YOUth decide will give ‘youth’ (people up to 29 years of age) a chance to take a vote on their future in regards to the Government’s approach to climate change.

Youth across Australia will be casting their votes, sending strong messages to politicians that they demand a safer and greener future.

“YOUth Decide will be effective because it is sending a direct message to politicians in a language that they understand. Votes are what matter most to politicians, and many of the youth participating in YOUth Decide are already eligible to vote,” says Emi Christensen, YES’s President and YOUth Decide project manager.

Along with the voting booth for YOUth Decide, YES aims to have displays from various local organisations as well as guest speakers during the lunch break.

A band as well as DJs, a free barbecue lunch that will cater for all tastes, and all-in game of touch footy at lunch will also be part of the activities. The festivities will kick off at 10am and go through until 4pm. The site is at Richmond River Park on Numulgi Rd, North Lismore. Additional information will be released closer to the event.

For further details on Youth Decide, go to the website, http://www.youthdecide.com.au or email Emi Christensen on emi.christensen@youthclimatecoalition.org.