Nominations are open for the Otago Conservation Awards, which are run by the Department of Conservation (DOC) each year to celebrate Conservation Week in September.
The awards give recognition and kudos to hardworking kiwis who volunteer their time to care for wildlife and the natural environment, and are judged by the Otago Conservation Board.
Otago Conservator, Marian van der Goes said “Every year, a lot of proactive and enterprising conservation work is achieved by volunteers and by businesses.
“This year, for example, the Waihola Waipori Wetlands Trust initiated a massive weed control operation across the wetlands, and the St Martin Island Community saved the Married Persons Quarters on Quarantine Island.
“It’s time to consider nominating yourself or another deserving person or group for this year’s awards.”
Since the awards began in 2005, 20 kiwis, eight groups, one school and a business have been recognised for their contribution in Otago. Their work has included rehabilitating kereru/NZ wood pigeon and other injured wildlife, wilding pine control and habitat restoration, reintroduction of the Otago skink to the Alexandra Basin, and cycle and walking track development in the Lakes District.
Nominations for the awards close on June 16. Contact your local DOC office for information on how to make a nomination.
The Toroa Award for Schools, run by the Otago Peninsula Trust and DOC, is also open for nominations. “This year’s award will go to a student, class or school that is engaged in an environmental action project which supports conservation in their community”, said Sally Carson, award organiser for Otago Peninsula Trust.
All schools and early childhood centres in Coastal Otago (Dunedin City, Clutha District, and Waitaki District south of Waitaki River and inland to Duntroon) are eligible.
Nomination forms are available at www.school.albatross.org.nz and are due by August 30.
Last year’s inaugural winner was Andrew Innes for his Healthy Harbour Watchers programme.
Coastal Otago Conservation Award winners
2010: Lala Frazer
2009: Tony Malthus
2008: Nik Hurring
2007: Ralph Allen
2006: Ewan Fordyce
2005: River-Estuary Care: Waikouaiti-Karitane
Inland Otago Conservation Award winners
2010: Central Otago Ecological Trust
2009: Tony Jewell and Rod Morris
2008: Ross McMillan
2007: John Mowat
2006: Stuart Landsborough
2005: John Turnbull
Toroa Award for Schools (Coastal Otago)
2010: Andrew Innes – Healthy Harbour Watchers