Kids Greening Taupō
Sarah Thornton discovers a Taupo- conservation project that is being led by the same students it is educating.
Kids Greening Taupo- is a conservation education programme that is bringing biodiversity back to the town, but unlike other community-run projects, it is the children of Taupo- who are running the show.
Based on the ‘Kids Restore the Kepler’ project in Te Anau, which has successfully reduced the number of pests and brought back many species that were close to extinction, Kids Greening Taupo- shares the same approach as the Fiordland project with its strong emphasis on youth involvement and leadership.
Tania Wells is the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) local ranger and has been instrumental in getting Kids Greening Taupo- off the ground.
“A group travelled to Te Anau to see how the Kepler project was run and how they worked collaboratively,” says Tania. “Following that visit, a local working group was set up comprising representatives from Greening -TuTaupo-,TauharaCollege, wharetoa Ma- ori Trust Board and DOC.”
The project become a reality in late 2014, with an 18 month pilot programme now running and involving two kindergartens, two primary schools and one college. Earlier this year an education coordinator was appointed, funded by DOC locally. Additional funding for a further two years has been secured through the DOC Community Conservation Partnership Fund.
“We started conversations with schools and funding groups around using conservation as a context for learning. Next we recruited schools and it was evident there was a huge
“The important thing about Kids Greening Taupo- is that kids are actually running the programme.”
Students attending bush kindergarten