Growing young people through nature
To connect children to the environment and simultaneously foster an appreciation of nature, the Durban Green Corridors’ youth programme utilises sport to engage young people. Mountain biking and trail running are but two nature-based activities that form part of the programme. Young people also gain valuable life skills by participating in these structured sessions, which also see children developing an interest in careers linked to the environment such as conservation, horticulture, nature guides, professional sportsmen and entrepreneurs.
Go!Durban Bike Program
At least four days per week, a group of children meet to cycle the trails of the eNanda Adventure Park at Inanda Dam. The bike programme – led by trained members of the community – offers children a healthy activity to enjoy after school, and helps them to build a sense of ambition and achievement. The program is supported by the Kargo Pro MTB team and GO!Durban. Another 8 similar pump tracks are currently being rolled out by Durban Green Corridors at sites around Durban.
eNanda Adventure Park is also the home of an active Youth Trail Running Club, which meets at least four days every week to train on the surrounding trails along the dam. Girls and boys of a range of ages are focused, driven and hard working as a result of the life skills the club has developed within them.
The Inanda Dam site is also proud to host an annual Youth Day Trail Run, which sees hundreds of children from local schools compete to celebrate this special day. The run is usually followed by a prize-giving ceremony and motivational talks about choices that youth have to make now to ensure a positive and healthy future.
The Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park will be a protected natural facility that would provide children and youth between the ages of 2-18 years, with the opportunity to explore their natural environment whilst developing and nurturing their developmental milestones. There would be many exciting and interactive programmes and play features that would encourage gross motor, fine motor and sensorimotor skills of children. This facility would also consist of cognitive programmes in order to shape the young minds of the next generation. The Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park would create a safe space where communities could create family memories whilst exploring their natural environment, having picnics and engaging in physical active mobility activities.
The heart of the Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park is to encourage youth development, community wellness and facilitate eco-tourism within the Inanda community. Based on the KinderWilnis concept in Bremen Germany, the Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park is adapted to a South African context and designed to meet the developmental needs across the lifespan of communities.
Development is underway and every day brings us one step closer to creating a new and exciting safe area for the community of Inanda.