Teenagers took over Taronga’s Backyard to Bush environmental exhibit during the April school holidays to celebrate environment and culture at the annual Boral Youth at the Zoo (YATZ) Eco Fair.
With the success of the Eco Fair in 2010, this year the event was extended from one day to three with sponsors Boral, NRMA and SITA showcasing their environmental initiatives to Taronga’s visitors.
Eco Fair coordinator, Lucinda Cveticanin, says the events activities were run by qualified teachers and industry professionals in conjunction with YATZ members.
“Zoo visitors got involved in some hands-on environmental workshops, animal encounters, career advice, market and information stalls and competitions. The Fair also allows young people to see what it’s like to be a YATZ member,” she said.
Some of the fun, interactive stalls on the day included native Australian animal encounters, Native Bee honey tasting, Aboriginal song and dance, recycling and bush regeneration activities, face painting as well as making enrichment toys for some of Taronga Zoo’s animals.
As supporters of the YATZ program since 2006, the annual Eco Fair provides a unique opportunity for Boral, and other Zoo sponsors, to interact with YATZ members, zoo visitors and showcase their environmental initiatives and products. Boral, NRMA and SITA treated Taronga’s visitors to fantastic giveaways and important environmental messages.
The Boral YATZ program is a fun, educational program for 13 to 19 year olds who are keen to take action to improve their local environment while increasing their knowledge of wildlife, the roles zoos play in society and their awareness of important environmental issues.
Lucinda Cveticanin, said the program, which began in September, 2001 with just 22 members now boasts more than 690 members from Sydney and interstate.
YATZ gives teenagers the opportunity to be involved with a range of dynamic environmental projects from the protection and recovery of threatened Australian species and zoo keeping activities to campaign awareness and website communications.