National Award for Local Project

The winners of the 2014 Green Ribbon Awards were announced by the Minister for the Environment, Hon Amy Adams, at a ceremony in Wellington on Monday night. We are very proud and humbled to announce that the Nina Valley Ecoblitz won the Green Ribbon Award for Communications and Education and were also the overall Supreme Winners!

The Nina Valley EcoBlitz event involved scientists, senior high school students, university students, teachers, and helpers working together to document and discover the species of North Canterbury's Nina Valley and surrounds.

This unique event enabled high school students from 21 different schools in Canterbury and Westland to experience hands-on activities and learn scientific methods. They were represented at the awards ceremony by Hurunui Youth Councillor, Anna Clark of Hurunui College.

The EcoBlitz included 119 field activities ranging from general species searching to workshops on popular ecology topics. The event educated and inspired students and teachers and highlighted the importance of scientific methods in fieldwork. 

Hurunui District Council Biodiversity Advisor, Sonny Whitelaw, said that she and the other recipients were over the moon with the award.

“This project was an incredible collaborative effort” she said. “There were so many people and organisations that worked together to achieve the successful running of this event.”

Ms Whitelaw was a member of the organising committee that dedicated many personal hours to the achievement of the project. Other committee members Tim Kelly, the Head of Science at Hurunui College (committee chair); Melissa Brown (Hurunui College); Timothy Curran, Jon Sullivan, and Cathy Mountier (Lincoln University); Steve Attwood (Convergence PR company); Wendy Davis (Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre); Danny Kimber, Brian Taylor and Sarah Ensor (DOC).

“Perhaps the best thing about the Nina Valley EcoBlitz was the purposeful way in which a wide range of organisations worked together to make this event a success” said Ms Whitelaw. We had schools, universities, scientists and other specialists, government agencies, local and regional councils, environmental consultants, Crown Research Institutes, various companies, a museum and community groups collaborate to survey the biodiversity of an important part of the Southern Alps, to raise awareness of our plants and animals and inspire the next generation of ecologists.”

The Council congratulates everyone involved in particular the high school students whose infectious enthusiasm and curiosity made the EcoBlitz such a delight for the rest of those involved.

For more information on the project visit the website.