Raising awareness of ancient giants, inspiring a city of people to live sustainably and using the restoration of a Great Walk to educate more than 450 young people about the environment are the ambitious goals of the 2015 Canon Environmental Grant Award winners.
The Coromandel Film Collective, Kids Restore the Kepler project, and the Kaipatiki Environmental Restoration Project have each won $5000 worth of Canon equipment for their projects’ positive impact on the environment, the uniqueness of their projects, and for demonstrating how important the use of Canon products is for further success.
Canon New Zealand managing director Kim Conner says the range of community-led projects being championed by people across New Zealand is remarkable and the judging panel was inspired by the high calibre of applications.
“We received entries from as far north as Ahipara and as far south as Stewart Island. Communities are working together to eradicate pests and noxious weeds, educate people on living more sustainably, and to grow populations of kereru, kiwi, mudfish and paua.
“Congratulations to our award winners. I’m pleased our environmental grant awards can assist in supporting these initiatives and I applaud the work being carried out to protect our environment for future generations,” Ms Connor says.
The three winners each receive $5000 worth of Canon products to assist in achieving their sustainability goals. The winning projects and their awards include:
- Regional Award: Coromandel Film Collective is filming a documentary about the ecology and history of Kauri on the Coromandel Peninsula to educate people and assist those working to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease.
- Community Award: Kaipatiki Environmental Restoration Project – aims to inspire the Auckland community to live sustainably by educating people through courses and short videos about how to grow vegetables and native plants, identify specific weeds and how to get rid of them, compost, make homes more efficient, and much, much more.
- Education Award: Fiordland Conservation Trust – Kids Restore the Kepler aims to help Fiordland’s young people to better understand and appreciate the natural environment by using the restoration of the Kepler to provide a real life authentic context for learning.
“Our corporate philosophy, Kyosei, translates to ‘working together for the common good’ and we value this opportunity to engage with people who are enhancing the environment we live and work in,” Ms Conner says.
Education Award: Kids Restore the Kepler
The Kids Restore the Kepler project was established in 2010 to help Fiordland’s young people and the community to better understand the natural environment, and commit to protecting and enhancing the environment.
Led by the Fiordland Conservation Trust, the project is a partnership with Kids Restore New Zealand, local schools, the Fiordland community, local businesses, and the Department of Conservation.
“The Kids Restore the Kepler project stood out because it’s already making a real difference to the environment and involves the entire community. It’s encouraging to know that so many young New Zealanders are learning more about protecting our natural environment,” Ms Conner says.
Fiordland Conservation Trust manager Laura Harry says winning the Canon Environment Grant Award is fantastic and much needed, particularly in view of the recent launch of the project’s students’ club which includes five learning centres and involves the Department of Conservation and the community.
“The club’s first project is a fresh water study that involves galaxiids, a freshwater fish of which some of New Zealand’s 28 species are endangered. Working with NIWA, the identification of freshwater invertebrates and other freshwater species in the Kepler will be undertaken by the students and to do this properly will require waterproof cameras and microscopes, amongst other items.
“Dr Menegatti our Education Coordinator is also grateful for the support of Canon and the opportunity to enhance the education and skills of the children using Canon products both in the field and in the clubroom, and which can be taken back to their classrooms,” Ms Harry says.
Photo credit: Michelle Crouchley