Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage recently attended a Predator Free Whangārei celebration as part of a $6 million funding announcement from Predator Free 2050 Limited and the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to scale up predator control. Predator Free Whangārei is a large-scale community-led project that will build on many years of dedicated and successful community predator control in the Whangārei area.
Enviroschools Regional Coordinator, Susan Karels, and past student from Whangārei Boys’ High School, Devlin Gurr, were at the celebration to showcase the work that is already underway through the Northland Enviroschools Project Pest Control Programme and answer questions from the guests and public. Devlin is a Project Pest Control graduate from 2018 and has been tutoring for the project in 2019 and 2020. One of Devlin’s current part time jobs is trapping possums, machine plucking and selling fur. (He hopes to broaden his regenerative farming experiences next year by heading to the lower North Island).
The Northland Enviroschools Project Pest Control Programme is a huge success, opening-up real opportunities for students including educational qualifications (NCEA credits), career pathways and the very real potential to make a living from possum fur. Read more about this initiative here.
As well as helping the native environment to thrive, Northland Regional Council (NRC) Chair Penny Smart says project partners are looking forward to the positive impact Predator Free Whangārei will have on Northland communities through the creation of employment and education opportunities, especially in the wake of Covid-19. Read the press release from NRC here.
For further information about the Northland Enviroschools Pest Control Project you can contact Susan Karels, Enviroschools Regional Co-ordinator for Northland.
Pest control is being carried out by a number of schools and Early Childhood Centres across the country as part of the Enviroschools holistic approach to learning and taking action for their environment. You can read more about Ruawai Kindergarten efforts here. And at the other end of the country at Half Moon Bay, Stewart Island/Rakiura here.