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Community workshops target Rotorua waterways

Friday, 13 June 2014 10:00 a.m.

Steven Hasnip wants to make a difference to the environment now for the enjoyment of future generations.

And with the future in mind, he’s encouraging Rotorua locals to attend a series of community workshops at which they’ll learn how they can help look after our waterways.

While still a teenager himself, Steven, a Year 12 Rotorua Lakes High School student, is taking a long-term view of his involvement in the Rotorua Youth Environment Forum, an environmental education programme run by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

“We need to make changes before the damage is irreversible, so that people in the future can enjoy and maintain the environments we are creating now,” Steven says.

Over the next week he’ll be involved in activities that form part of the Love Your Water workshops being held to support community involvement in looking after our waterways.

Organised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the workshops aim to encourage locals to work together to look after Rotorua waterways to create healthy environments for native flora and fauna and contribute towards building stronger, healthier communities.

The first workshop, on June 16, will be for secondary school students with community workshops the following two evenings and a combined schools/community clean-up and planting at Ōhinemutu on Friday June 20. The Love Your Water series will finish with a community workshop the following day, Saturday 21, at Linton Park Community Centre.

The presentation and event management training workshops will be facilitated by award-winning New Zealand charity Sustainable Coastlines and attendees will learn simple steps and creative ways to help look after Rotorua’s waterways and organise related events.

Steven and other RYEF members will be heavily involved in the workshops and associated activities. “It is our responsibility as younger people to contribute to the future,” Steven says.

Fellow RYEF member Matthew Gibbs, a senior student at Western Heights High School, is also a keen young environmentalist and hopes the workshops will be well attended.

“I hope people will come along to learn about how to look after our waterways. I enjoy helping others to learn about the environment and what they can do to help and it’s fun being part of the activities,” he says.

Love Your Water series

Monday June 16: Secondary students workshop.

Tuesday June 17: Community workshop, Te Roro o te Rangi Marae, 22 Ariariterangi St, Ōhinemutu, 6pm-8pm, supper provided.

Wednesday June 18: Community workshop, Te Roro o te Rangi Marae, 22 Ariariterangi St, Ōhinemutu, 6pm-8pm, supper provided.

Friday June 20: School and community clean-up and planting, Ōhinemutu (meet at mouth of Utuhina River) 10am to 2pm. Please bring a spade.

Saturday June 21: Community workshop and stream clean-up, Linton Park Community Centre, 2pm-4.30pm. Please bring working gloves. Afternoon tea provided.

To register visit www.sustainablecoastlines.org or contact Ryley Webster, ryley@sustainablecoastlines.org or 021-0409014.

PHOTO: Rotorua Youth Environment Forum members Steven Hasnip (middle) and Matthew Gibbs (far right), pictured checking out the now fully grown trees they helped plant early last year along the Utuhina Stream near Smallbone Park, want to encourage locals to attend the Love Your Water workshops.

Youth Environment Forum members