Wednesday 12 June 2008
Volunteers clearing weeds from Mauao, planting thousands of trees in Hamurana and clearing bindweed with their bare hands in Awaiti are among those nominated for this year’s Weedbusters Awards on Friday 13 June.
Environment Bay of Plenty and the Department of Conservation are hosting the Bay of Plenty Weedbusters Award Ceremony to recognise volunteers who are going the extra mile. These volunteers are enhancing our environment by tackling invasive weeds that threaten to smother native plants and cover walkways and streams.
In the running for an award is the Mauao Care Group who are tackling weeds threatening to swamp native bush on Mauao (Mount Maunganui).
Waihi District Walkways Inc have been nominated for their vision of creating a series of linked walkways around Waihi. Also working hard in the Western Bay are Te Puna Estuary Managers who have been managing mangroves in the Te Puna estuary.
Meanwhile in the Eastern Bay the weed busting efforts of Pou Whakaaro in the Awaiti Wildlife Management Reserve have led to them being on the running for an award. Their efforts in working week in and week out to pull out bindweed by hand have been impressive. Kawerau District Council parks and reserves manager Tracy Wilson has been nominated for her work in driving the Monika Lanham Reserve restoration project.
Rotorua nominee Jean Buswell, of the Tarawera Care group, is in the running for her battle against noxious weeds. Also representing Rotorua are Yaap and Sue van Dorser and Ham and Jan Gifford who, despite being in their seventies, have been the driving force behind the clearing of Awahu Stream in Hamurana and have planted more than 30,000 trees.
Environment Bay of Plenty pest plant office Sara Brill warned that pest plants can smother native plants and reduce soil and water quality.
“Pest plants can cause the deterioration of waterways, walkways and natural ecosystems. It is therefore heart warming to hear about the hard work volunteers are carrying out to rid our community of noxious weeds and enhance our environment for everyone to enjoy,” said Sara Brill.
There are four award categories: public land, private land, industry and organisation and education. The category winners will be announced at the award ceremony at the Department of Conservation’s conservancy office in Rotorua at 4pm.
The winners receive prizes of books, vouchers for hardware and public benches with plaques in recognition of their work.