Kids bit­ten by eco bug

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Re­mark­able Pri­mary School stu­dents were given an in­spi­ra­tional talk about look­ing after the fu­ture of the earth by the world fa­mous ‘‘Bug­man’’, also-known-as Rudd Kleinpaste, last week.

Kleinpaste, a trustee of Project Crim­son, joined forces with mem­bers of the Wakatipu Re­for­esta­tion Trust, Con­ser­va­tion Depart­ment, Rata Din­ing chef Josh Emett and restau­ra­teur Fleur Caulton, to plant 350 na­tive species with 21 stu­dents on the Kelvin Heights penin­su­lar on Thurs­day.

Kleinpaste said it was im­por­tant to en­gage with the chil­dren and show them how im­por­tant it was to have an eco­log­i­cal bal­ance in the fu­ture.

‘‘They need all the tools that can get to help hu­man­ity stay on the planet,’’ he said.

‘‘The most im­por­tant thing for me is we all know about plant­ing and the need for plant­ing in global warm­ing.’’

Rata Din­ing chef Josh Emett said it was a great ini­tia­tive and ‘‘good fun’’ to take part in the plant­ing. The plant­ings would boost the beau­ti­ful walk as the na­tive trees in the area could get ‘‘beaten up’’ by other in­va­sive species in the area, Emett said.

So far the restau­rant had do­nated $5000 to cause, which in­cluded funds raised from host­ing a fash­ion show lunch with Yvonne Ben­netti in May.

South­ern rata and Kowhai trees were some of the na­tive trees that were planted.

Wakatipu ecol­o­gist and re­for­esta­tion trust trustee Neill Simp­son helped or­gan­ise the plant­ing event.

Photo: CHE BAKER

Muck­ing in: Rata Din­ing chef Josh Emett and the ‘‘Bug­man’’, aka Rudd Kleinpaste, along with Wakatipu Re­for­esta­tion Trust mem­bers and Re­mark­ables Pri­mary School stu­dents, take a break from plant­ing na­tive trees at Kelvin Heights last week.

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