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And conservation was the winner!

15 September 2008

And conservation was the winner!

Children get involved at Makoura Stream with Jim Flack, Greater Wellington Regional Council (Amanda Cosgrove, DOC)


Wairarapa was gripped by conservation fever last week, with a huge public response to events celebrating Conservation Week with its theme Meet the locals.

It concluded with a spectacular turnout at the inaugural weed swap and Department of Conservation open day, on Saturday, which attracted close to 1000 attendees. Representatives from various groups such as Masterton Tramping Club, Rural Fire and Greater Wellington regional council were also on-hand to answer questions and show how they contribute to local conservation.

DOC community relations programme manager Amanda Cosgrove says she is “blown away” by the enthusiasm of the locals.

“We had ordered 400 trees for the weed swap and thought that this would be plenty for the people attending and the promotional activities throughout the week.

“But when people started arriving early and queues formed down the driveway of DOC’s Wairarapa Area Office it soon became apparent we needed some more supplies,” she said.

Amanda made an emergency call made to Norfolk Road Nursery which quickly organised another 150 plants, and vouchers for plants from the STARS trust, were given to another 75 people.

Over a tonne of weeds were collected, - with a couple of interesting noxious plants detected such as bone seed, melianthus major and aluminium plant.

Earlier in the week 75 people participated in a planting day at Lake Wairarapa. This event and the plantings at Makoura Stream in Masterton on Thursday and Sunday were supported by Greater Wellington Regional Council. Young and old turned up to help regenerate areas that had been ravaged by various pests, including unwanted plants and rubbish.

Conservation in the Wairarapa was also profiled to 70 schools nationwide earlier in the week, when Pukaha Mount Bruce education ranger Chris Day participated in a Ministry of Education web link-up at Chanel College. It was part of a week long event, in partnership with DOC.

The year 7 and 8 students at Chanel College were captivated by Chris’ presentation about Pukaha Mount Bruce,

“It made you realise what it means to be part of New Zealand and its amazing nature,” student Bridget Kelly said.


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