Town Belt photo contest

In the frame . . . Balmacewen Intermediate pupil Megha Senthilkumar (11) takes a photo of Opoho School pupils Frank Muir and Ylvie Mattern (both 9) outside the Otago Museum for the Town Belt Kaitiaki's photo competition. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A group of environmental advocates is encouraging more people to spend time in the Town Belt.

Town Belt Kaitiaki is running a school photo competition and is calling for young people to enter their best photos taken in the area.

Balmacewen Intermediate School pupil Megha Senthilkumar said the aim of the competition was to see people enjoying the Town Belt.

“Not many people know about the Town Belt, so that’s why we want photos in [it].”

The theme of the competition was “Wild about the Town Belt”, she said.

Opoho School pupil Ylvie Mattern said she would like to see photos of people looking after the area, such as by picking up rubbish or planting.

The competition has three age groups – 7 and under, 8-13, and 14-18 – and each has a prize for first place.

The overall winner will receive a camera.

Photos taken in the Town Belt between January 1 and July 26 can be entered.

Town Belt Kaitiaki education co-ordinator Claudia Babirat said the pupil-led initiative had been planning the photo contest since March.

Last year’s competition had about 260 entries, and this year’s leadership team hoped to get about 400.

Photo competition manager Jemma Bezuidenhout (15), of Otago Girls’ High School, said leading the pupils and organising the competition had been “pretty full on”.

“If you’ve got good communication skills it helps.

“Everyone in the group is so different and has different ideas. It makes it kind of easy because you get everyone’s input.”