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Hutt Valley nature through the eyes of creative young people

This project, a collaboration between IMAgEN8 and Excio, will organise free photography workshops for children aged 8-18 at various nature reserves and parks in the Hutt Valley (including Belmont Regional Park, Wainuiomata Scenic Reserve, and McEwan Park). Through these workshops students will have an opportunity to capture and showcase their unique perspective of nature. The end of the project will be marked by the publication of the special book that will present student images and their insights on biodiversity, and an exhibition of their best images. We're drawing inspiration from our successful Auckland project, the book 'Centers of Wellbeing', published in June 2023.


We provide digital SLR cameras for the participants, and our mentors teach them the technical and artistic aspects of photography. Students receive digital copies of their best pictures, and are published in books and the Compassionate Nature magazine. There is no cost for the participants as these workshops have been funded by the Hutt City Creative Communities.

We conducted a pilot workshop in Hutt Valley at the Walter Nash Centre to raise awareness and generate interest from the community. The workshop was very successful with 13 young learners participating. Video and photos from the event can be viewed here.

The goal of our work with children and young adults is to nurture their love for Nature. The strength of this love and deepening of connections to our physical world improves their mental wellbeing, fosters increased awareness for the environment, builds compassion, and manifests as kaitiakitanga.

We believe that by forming deep connections and love for our natural environment, we are happier, more compassionate, conserve what we love, and live sustainably. This fuels our passion to work with diverse communities, ages, and schools, so we can contribute to fostering a more sustainable society and planet for us all. 

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We need cameras for students to use at these workshops. If you have a digital SLR in working condition that you aren't using, please consider donating it to us.

You can also support this project by making a monetary donation, or volunteering your time as a photography teacher, videographer or coordinator. 

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