Working with passionate and knowledgeable people is a highlight of my role and I recently had the privilege of leading a project at the Manawatu Estuary that brought together community, council and DOC expertise.
The Manawatu Estuary is a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention and one of only six such sites in New Zealand. The habitat attracts over 90 different species of birds at various times of the year.
The aim of my recent project was to create interesting and informative signs about the birds that call the estuary home.
I first met with Joan Leckie, the former Chair of the Manawatu Estuary Trust and a key player in the process of having the wetland recognised under the Ramsar Convention. Joan is an avid ornothologist and the perfect person to advise me on the birds that visit the area.
With an idea of what we wanted I then approached our DOC graphic designers and editors. Alana McCrossin created the beautiful illustrations for the signs and Robin Wilkinson edited the text, suggesting new ways to add interest to the signs — such as the Fascinating Facts.
The Horowhenua District Council and the Foxton Beach Community Board were also keen participants in the process and assisted in the placement of the signs, with the council covering the costs of installation.
The outcome is a collection of nine new beautiful signs around the Estuary Walkway giving visitors a brief introduction to the birds that visit this special place.
The project was a fantastic opportunity to work with local partners to inform people about the important habitats in our own backyard. Great things happen when we work together!
Visit the Manawatu Estruary and see these amazing new signs for yourself. More information can be found on the DOC website.