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Celebrate Conservation Week in the Wairarapa

Celebrate Conservation Week in the Wairarapa

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Joe Hanson from DOC and his helpers planting during Conservation Week 2006 (DOC)

1 September 2008

Celebrate Conservation Week in the Wairarapa

Wairarapa people are encouraged to get their hands dirty during Conservation Week (7-14 September), to celebrate the community’s role in championing the conservation cause.

Planting days and a weed swap are among events being held in the Wairarapa to highlight this year’s theme of “Meet the locals”, connecting New Zealanders to the conservation in their local areas.

Department of Conservation Wairarapa area manager Chris Lester said enthusiastic local community groups played a vital role in protecting and restoring the natural and historic values of the area.

“The Wairarapa is a vast area and we have a lot of ground to cover. We couldn’t manage it without local community groups getting involved with and leading projects. This week is about celebrating them and what they do for the conservation cause.”

Wairarapa Conservation Week activities begin on Sunday 7 September in Featherston, where Greater Wellington Regional Council and Department of Conservation staff and locals are planting at Simmonds Lagoon at the Wairarapa Lake Domain from 10am. There will also be an opportunity to review the Improving Lake Domain concept plan.

The Makoura Stream Care Group is also holding planting days on Thursday 11 September and Sunday 14 September.

School classes go virtual on Monday 8 September when DOC education ranger Chris Day hosts a class at Chanel College which will be shown across the country. The session, entitled Keeping our locals local, will profile Pukaha Mount Bruce and the importance of keeping our endangered species local for New Zealanders to enjoy.

“We’re going to be telling the story of the Pukaha, forest, where iconic species can be encountered locally because of pest control efforts,” says Chris.

“It will be an opportunity to profile our work there to up to 400 schools across the country.”

Also on offer are guided walks in the Tararua Forest Park, one of three forest parks in the Wairarapa. They’ll be conducted by the Masterton and South Wairarapa Tramping Clubs on Sunday 14 September from Holdsworth road-end.

“This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts and look around this beautiful forest,” says Chris Lester.

“We are very lucky in the Wairarapa to have these vast protected areas to explore.”

The local finale for Conservation Week is a DOC open day on Saturday 13 September at the Wairarapa Area Office in South Road, Masterton which will also feature the inaugural Wairarapa weed swap. Locals can exchange up to a bag full of gardens weeds for a local native plant, and talk to people involved in different aspects of conservation.

“This day is a celebration of local conservation Families can come and learn about conservation in the Wairarapa and get a suitable plant for their garden” says Chris Lester.

“What better way to end our week of celebrating local conservation!”

For more details please visit: www.conservationweek.org.nz.


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