Pest-Fest: pest-acular display of conservation partnerships
18 September 2013
Pest-Fest: a pest-acular display of conservation partnerships in action
Hundreds flocked to Wellington’s Waitangi Park on Sunday to visit the first annual Pest-Fest. Pest-Fest is a free, fun-filled family fair that provides information about New Zealand's pests and how the public can help to manage them.
The event included animal pest trapping demonstrations, kids’ crafts, information on current conservation research, as well as tutorials on how to make pest animal tracking tunnels from household supplies and design bird-friendly gardens. People also brought in their worst garden weeds and swapped them for free native plants.
Pest-Fest is organised by the Department of Conservation, Wellington City Council, Wellington Regional Council, Victoria University of Wellington, Zealandia, Forest and Bird, WWF New Zealand, Halo Project, Landcare Research, Nature Space, and Queen Elizabeth II National Trust.
“It was great to see all the different organisations in one place complementing each other,” said Allison McPherson of Zealandia. “For me, it was great to be 'giving back' to the community and to get one of Zealandia's key activities—pest monitoring—out in to kids' backyards.”
“Pest-Fest is a fun way to learn about New Zealand pests. There were a lot of hands-on activities and demonstrations that really highlighted the teamwork between the various local agencies,” said event organiser, DOC’s Amy Brasch.
There are now more introduced plants than native plants in New Zealand, plus a suite of pest animals jeopardising our amazing wilderness areas. Pest-Fest saw many Wellingtonians heading home armed with stoat and rat traps and plans to create their own wildlife havens at home.
“The event was a huge success. An increasing amount of Wellingtonians want to get involved and help make a difference. We’ll definitely be running Pest-Fest next year,” said Brasch.
If you want to get involved with local community group restoration efforts, visit: www.naturespace.org.nz