Kudos goes out to Shelly Reis, winner of Planet Ark and dirtgirlworld's Grow Up with Nature Photo Competition. Shelly beat out 200 entries with a photo of her son, Oscar, climbing a tree (seen above).
The photo personified the joy, wonder and beauty associated with a childhood spent in nature. As part of the competition, Aussie families were challenged to head outside, snap a picture of their children doing one or more of challenges (listed below) and share them on Facebook.com/NationalTreeDay.
Grow Up with Nature Challenges:
- Build a backyard cubby
- Fly a kite
- Go for a wheely fun bike ride
- Go wild at a national park
- Go on a starry safari
- Go on a tree-sure hunt
- Make damper
- Walk the green carpet
- Go puddle jumping
- Hug a tree
Shelly's family wins a $1,000 eco holiday and can chose from swimming with dolphins, horseback riding in the rainforest and dozens of other very cool outdoor adventure experiences. Shelly and her partner, Tim, are well deserving of the prize, as they are keen environmentalists who are trying their best to raise their children, Oscar, 4, and Lola, 1, to have a strong appreciation for the outdoors and respect for the natural world.
"We are keen composters, vegie gardeners, recyclers and bushwalkers and the children are encouraged to participate in these activities as much as possible" claims Ms Reis. "Living in Wollongong we are very lucky to have access to many beautiful natural areas - whether they be national parks or beaches - so we try to take them on outdoor adventures as often as we can (and often do end with Oscar in a tree - I swear he is part-monkey). We also have a love of art and photography and documenting our family's adventures is one of my favourite things to do. I run a blog called My Captured Life (www.mycapturedlife.com) and have a Facebook page where I share our daily adventures (www.facebook.com/mycapturedlife)."
Check out our Competition photo gallery for some more inspiration and ways to fill your and your children's lives with precious memories and time in nature.
Australians are spending an increased amount of time indoors due to increased screen time and shrinking backyards, so activities like National Tree Day help to get people outside and enjoying nature. Planet Ark has a suite of research reports exploring the switch to more indoor lifestyles and the health, wellbeing and happiness benefits gained from spending time outside in natural settings. For more information read the research.
Planet Ark's National Tree Day aims to inspire, educate and recruit Australians to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians. National Tree Day is a fun, community event that gets people outside connecting with nature and making a valuable difference to the environment.
Dirtgirlworld, is an Emmy award-winning ABC TV series aimed at young children and is all about getting grubby, recycling, composting and having fun outdoors. Dirtgirlworld is a campaign partner of Planet Ark's National Tree Day. .