GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Every year girls from local schools in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay look forward to the Careers Day in conservation organised by SA National Parks (Sanparks), since People & Conservation officer Nondumiso Mgwenya upped environmental education initiatives to focus on girl children three years ago.
"This year, an internal women's forum supported the initiative as part of Women's Month celebrations," says Mgwenya.
Sanparks approached local high schools with the initiative for girls to write essays on conservation and biodiversity, and those with the winning essays are invited to the Careers Day.
"For three years in succession, we've asked women managers to share their journey with the girls and also what they do in Sanparks," says Mgwenya. These women come from all divisions within the parks body with a focus on the organisation's core pillars – conservation, tourism, socioeconomic development, and support services.
This year each staff member was asked to contribute a goodie bag with essentials for girls including sanitary towels and cosmetics. Certificates of appreciation were also organised for the girls including a boat trip around the Knysna Estuary by the park's marine rangers.
Winning schools this year came from Murray High School in Plettenberg Bay, Concordia High and Knysna Secondary School.
The Garden Route National Park's three sections comprising Knysna, Wilderness and Tsitsikamma host learners during SA National Parks Week. "We approach schools in the Garden Route and organise talks and outings every day of the week for them to experience national parks. The Garden Route is an outdoor classroom educators should not miss," says regional spokesperson Nandi Mgwadlamba.
Schools are also invited to a free access week in the Garden Route from Sunday 8 to 15 September.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route news'