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Raising the Roof in the Brook

They're Raising the Roof this weekend (May 21st) at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.

At a celebration starting with a blessing at 11am on Sunday May 21st, the trust will celebrate the completion of the roof on the new building that will be the entrance and information base for the sanctuary.

West Coast MP and Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor will hand over a $52,510 cheque from the national Tourism Facilities Grants Programme to trust chair David Butler, money that will be used for interpretive material inside the new building.

Dave Butler says they're also taking the opportunity to launch a new fundraising campaign.

"We are making the most of the withdrawal of 5 cent coins to invite people to hand them over to this worthy cause," he said. "The tuatara features on this coin and we will one day return tuatara to the Brook where they would have lived before being killed off by rats and other pests."

The trust will also welcome 20 cents and $1 coins ­ both these feature kiwi, another of the species that will be returned to the Brook as the sanctuary progresses.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their tuatara and kiwi coins along to form artworks of the two species with the help of a local artist, Dean Raybould.

Last month the trust received its first big grant towards the $3 million pest-proof fence that will eventually surround the sanctuary to allow the removal of all pest mammals.

Dr Butler said the commitment of $210,000 over three years from the Canterbury Community Trust was a very encouraging start.

"There is still a very long way to go but we have the passion and the enthusiasm and are very encouraged by the huge support for the project shown by the people of the region," he said. "We welcome everyone to come along and find out more about the inspiring concept of turning the upper Brook Valley into what will become a major conservation landmark and visitor magnet for Nelson."

All are welcome to Raising the Roof which will feature guided walks, a sausage sizzle, games for children (including one that features a stoat, a trap and an egg), and demonstrations on trapping.

Raising the Roof is at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary on Sunday May 21st between 11am and 2pm.


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