Care groups celebrate success
Monday, 20 October 2014 1:00 p.m.
Volunteers from eight environmental care groups gathered at Ōpōtiki yesterday, to celebrate their successes and share their knowledge and ideas.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder was there to thank them for their efforts, on behalf of the region’s residents.
“Your efforts have ensured that the eastern Bay’s unique wildlife and natural areas are better cared for. You’ve made it easier for local people to access and enjoy our local forests, beaches and wetlands. Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm, and the many, many hours of weekends and evenings that you’ve given up to make a difference for this region and your community,” Chairman Leeder said.
The event was held at the Woodlands Hall near Hukutaia Domain. It was hosted by the Hukutaia Care Group with support from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Department of Conservation. Nearly 40 community group volunteers attended, from the Hukutaia, Nukuhou Saltmarsh, Ōhiwa Reserve, Bryans Beach and Wairata care groups, Whakatāne Kiwi Trust, Birds-a-Plenty, and Forest and Bird.
Each group presented on highlights and challenges from the past year and celebrated with a barbeque lunch. They then enjoyed a guided walk and viewed a new boardwalk and bird sign that have been recently installed by the Hukutaia Care Group.
Highlights shared by the volunteers included successful pest plant and animal control programmes, construction of new boardwalks and tracks, innovative modification of traps and bait stations to exclude weka; and increased interpretation signage and visitor events including a ‘ghost evening’ in the Domain hosted by the Hukutaia Care Group as part of a children’s holiday programme.
“Regional Council has assisted each of the groups through our Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF) or Biodiversity Management Plan programmes. We’re proud to be able to work with groups like this in the community. The volunteers are an inspiration to all of us,” said Chairman Leeder.