Environment Education Update June 2017
This month we hosted a group of 17 young conservationists, students from Whakatane and Opotiki, as the start of an inaugural pilot program called Katiakitanga Kadets. Throughout the weekend they learned about trap lines for predator control (caught a large dead furry ferret, 3 rats and a large possum), excelled in bird call identification, learned the basics of plant identification and navigated their way around the camp using compass skills.
This is the start of their journey as Katiakitanga Kadets; a program set up and supported by the HALO project to train enthusiastic young volunteers along a structured program designed to introduce them to the varied and unique community conservation programs in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, from planting trees in dune restoration projects to coast care rubbish collection, to helping out with trap lines and Kiwi health checks.
The overall goal of the Katiakitanga Kadets project is to nurture their passion and enthusiasm in the field of conservation in the hope that as young adults they
will continue to use their skills to preserve and protect our taonga, our fantastic environment that we have here in the Bay of Plenty. The highlight of this weekend was catching a live ferret. I am very grateful to John MacIntosh for dealing with this one.
Otakiri Primary school had their second visit to the Manawahe Eco Centre. We started their second day with a rodent monitor at Meehan's. Unfortunately, there was a bit of evidence of rat and mice there, but this can be expected in any rural area that does not have an intensive pest control programme. In the afternoon, the students did a tree leaf identification program and learned to identify a few new trees. They finished the day with the planting a Lancewood tree.
Volunteering Bay of Plenty
The Manawahe Eco Trust has joined Volunteering Bay of Plenty. This enables us to reach out to the wider community and draw new volunteers to the area.