Ella has a mes­sage

The Northland Age - - Local Arts / News -

Kerik­eri teenager Ella Davis is hop­ing peo­ple will pay more at­ten­tion to her hand-painted sign than to of­fi­cial warn­ings against rub­bish­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Four­teen-year-old Ella Davis won a com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign a sign for a lit­ter-prone stretch of In­let Rd, which some driv­ers treat as a rub­bish dis­posal zone.

“There’s a lot of trash be­ing thrown down this road. I don’t like it. A lot of kiwi and other na­tive species live down here, and it’s really bad for the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

“It’s such a beau­ti­ful place to live. Peo­ple are just dis­re­spect­ing the land.”

Ella chose a more­pork (ruru) for her sign be­cause the owls were com­mon in the area, were as­so­ci­ated with wis­dom, and were vis­ually cute and funny.

“They also have big eyes that look at you say­ing ‘Don’t lit­ter’,” she said.

The Kerik­eri High School stu­dent painted the sign with help from her mum Sarah Davis.

Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser Philip Jenk­ins, who has picked up rub­bish from the sec­ond bridge on In­let Rd to Ed­monds Rd once a week for the past three years, said he orig­i­nally ap­proached pri­mary schools around the Mid North but the en­tries just weren’t bold enough to grab driv­ers’ at­ten­tion.

He then asked young peo­ple liv­ing in the In­let Rd area, and Ell came up trumps.

He had ap­proached the Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil, sug­gest­ing the signs be in­stalled around the dis­trict.

Mean­while Ella plans to save her $50 prize for an up­com­ing trip to the UK.

PIC­TURE / PE­TER DE GRAAF

Ella Davis and her sign on In­let Rd, urg­ing peo­ple not to lit­ter.

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