Attracting a younger membership is the number one goal for new Margaret River Regional Environment centre co-ordinator Sari Bennett.
Having taken over the group’s reins from Isabella Godden in June, Ms Bennett said the centre was also on the cusp of securing a home at Clarke Road after four years in the wilderness.
The group was moved from their Memorial Park base in 2008 to make way for public toilets and after failing to capitalise on a new site on Clarke Road, lost it to a new State Emergency Services centre now under construction.
But in a recent revelation the group hoped to take up residence on the northern side of the FESA building, accepting a loss of nearly half the land they bid for initially.
“We are submitting a concept plan proposal by the end of the month for the environment centre building and a community garden,” Ms Bennett said.
Until the plan was approved, attracting young families was the main priority, she said.
“Looking at the sustainable future for Margaret River, it’s appropriate to have young people and families coming on board because they’re the future of the region” she told the Times.
“I also think there is a lot of untapped knowledge and ideas in the younger community, but sometimes it’s difficult for them to participate because they have young families.
“We need to make it accessible for them and having a playground on the site where their kids could play while we meet would make it easier for them to attend.”She said sustainable art exhibitions and festivals were also in the mix for the group’s future. A performance by a local “gypsy” band and screening of Diane Bell’s Obselidia at Carters Road’s Fairharvest Horticulture Farm on September 13 would be the first event to attract new people to the group, Ms Bennett said.