At about this time every year I am always amazed and inspired by the people around me.
Not only the DOC staff who are putting in extra hours and effort with the stress levels rising each day (if only these walls could talk!) that we get closer to Conservation Week, but the community groups and individuals who are absolutely, incredibly, fantastically, amazingly, outstandingly (sorry, having a moment!!) committed.
I have a huge long list of things that I know are happening out and about the place in Wellington – you can see most of those on the event pages on this website – but there is some other stuff happening out there that you may not otherwise hear about – like a painted egg killing a stoat for Conservation Week? Let me explain…
Eggs are used in traps that kill stoats to tempt the little nasties in, eggs are getting more and more expensive, so the clever people from the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust are asking local kids from Wainuiomata and the Hutt Valley to bring in an egg to school for Conservation Week. The kids can then paint them and make them pretty and learn all about why pests need to be squished to help protect our native wildlife (like the kiwi who are now roaming in the Rimutaka Forest after 50 years absence thanks to the efforts of the Trust).
It’s a small thing for the kids to do, will mean that they get to learn all about kiwi and predator control and the Trust gets a good supply of eggs, so they can continue to do the great work they do – magic!
We’ve also got people planning to make a dent in the estimated 100,000 pieces of rubbish on Evans Bay beach and foreshore on Wellington’s south coast.
Has anyone out there seen the pic of a dead albatross chick with it’s stomach full of plastic after it’s mother fed it rubbish (brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘junk food’). It is horrifying. Luckily for the albatross and other marine species, the good people from the Evans Bay Environment Project and co are helping to make a difference on this front.
Another thing going on that appeals to the slothful side of me is watching a bit of telly for Conservation week! We’ve got a couple of our very own ‘stars’ appearing on the Good Morning show on TV1 to talk about eels and giant weta – we’re even bringing them into the studio – not sure how the presenters are going to cope holding a slithery eel and the largest weta we can find – but it should make for a few laughs! So be sure to watch on Monday (14th) and Wednesday (16th) or you can download the segments from the TVNZ website. TVNZ6 are also going to be filming a weed swap that we have happening in Wellington’s Civic Square, where people swap a weed for a free native plant (what a deal!) so you might spot that at some stage too.
Anyway that’s just a snippet to get started, hope to catch up with some of you at a Wellywood Conservation week event this year.