Zoë Mihalas gets young people outside

Zoë Mihalas with Trout Unlimited
CATCHING INTEREST: Zoë Mihalas challenges young people to share photos of fishing or having outdoors fun with friends on Instagram to bridge the gap between nature and social media. Photo courtesy of Cold River Studio

“Growing up, I didn’t know many 7-year-old girls that loved fly-fishing,”  Zoë Mihalas recalls.

The now-high school senior has worked to change that over her 10-year volunteer tenure with the Youth Leadership Council at Trout Unlimited, a national fishery restoration and conservation network. Mihalas encourages kids and young adults to get involved, whether through fly-fishing, promoting conservation or simply enjoying the outdoors.

Having grown up in a digital age, Mihalas challenges young people to share photos of fishing or having outdoors fun with friends on Instagram to bridge the gap between nature and social media. “It’s a good way to get kids motivated to go outside and get into gear,” she says.

Mihalas received the Distinguished Service Award for Youth Education from Trout Unlimited last year for her work in supporting a new generation of conservation-minded youths. But she points out that older generations must also help kids and young adults have the experiences that spark environmental passion.

“A lot of kids these days are very involved on their phones and social media, but that wouldn’t exactly be true if there were older people introducing younger people into the outdoors and showing them, ‘This is how you mountain bike,’ or ‘This is how you fly-fish,” Mihalas notes. “You just have to introduce something to a kid and give them a chance to embrace it.”

Editor’s note: As part of our monthlong celebration of this region’s commitment to sustainable ways of living and working in community, Xpress is highlighting some of those who are making a difference by taking action on a variety of creative and inspiring initiatives.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.