There are around 4500 businesses operating in New Zealand’s public conservation areas. A lot of them take on projects to enhance the natural environment that they rely on, as part of their day-to-day business operations and they’re making a real difference to conservation efforts in New Zealand.
One business that’s giving back is the Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre based in the Marlborough Sounds. We got to acknowledge their efforts last week by presenting them with the DOC Conservation-in-Action Award at the 2010 Tourism Industry Awards.
Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre is a tourist lodge which combines accommodation with wildlife recovery programmes and art galleries. The centre runs breeding programmes for kakariki and Marlborough green gecko. It also has a sculpture trail, artists’ retreat and four hectares of native bush.
The DOC Conservation-in-Action Award recognises the innovation behind the lodge’s Wildlife Recovery Centre, which is funded through sales at the Arts Centre and visitor entry fees.
Lochmara co-manager Louise Bright said: “We are still wowed by what we have done at Lochmara, but we’re so happy that the judges were wowed by it too.”
Fellow co-manager Shayne Olsen said: “The opportunity for us as members of the public to work alongside the Department of Conservation is great. We think that Lochmara is an example of the progress that can be made when private groups are able to support the work of DOC and be involved actively in conservation and restoration work.”
Other finalists for this year’s DOC Conservation-in-Action Award were Black Cat Cruises and Explore NZ.