Ecosanctuary wins funding

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Orokonui Ecosanctuary’s new water tank is quite the multi-tasker, servicing chicks, creepy crawlies, ponds, plants and people.

Last week Speight’s Brewery announced the ecosanctuary was one of five Dunedin not-for-profit groups to win funding from the 2017 Speight’s Brewery Environmental Fund.

The ecosanctuary put its $1585 grant towards getting the new water tank, which was installed last month.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary general manager Chris Baillie said the ecosanctuary was grateful for the help from Speight’s because the tank was much needed and would be well-used.

One area to benefit is the bird feeding station which services mainly takahe and kaka, as well as the kiwi creche.

“We put out water for them, for the kaka, sugar water and, of course, we have to wash all the bowls.

“The little [kiwi] chicks get fed daily and it’s very important that their feeding stations are kept really, really clean,” she said.

The cricket and meal-worm breeding stations will also benefit from the tank water.

Ms Baillie said when ecosanctuary conditions got very dry, as happened the past two years, fresh water from the tank would top up two natural ponds to ensure they maintained the necessary oxygen levels.

The tank water would also be used to spray weeds, water plants in the nearby nursery and supply drinks for the volunteer staff area.

The Speight’s Brewery Environmental Fund, established in 2009, awards grants to five Dunedin not-for-profit groups each year to support keeping Otago beautiful.

Speight’s contributes $25,000 annually which is supplemented by donations from the brewery’s spring water tap.

The other winners of this year’s fund, which totalled about $30,000, were Forest and Bird NZ, Blueskin Youth and Community Amenities Association, Blueskin Farm LTD and Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust.