The dedication of Dunedin people in a huge range of environmental and beautification projects was celebrated at last month’s Keep Dunedin Beautiful Awards.
Award winners came from across the community, celebrating the effort and commitment of children, young people, students, community groups, and individuals in protecting and enhancing Dunedin’s environment.
The awards were presented by Keep Dunedin Beautiful chairwoman Jan Tucker.
Addressing those gathered for the ceremony, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the event gave “important recognition of people in our community who work selflessly to make our city and our environment better for us all”.
He also acknowledged the major community effort involved in Dunedin winning the title of New Zealand’s “most beautiful city” in 2018.
Guest speakers Fiona Clements and Fiona Jenkin, from Stitch Kitchen, spoke about their projects aimed at reducing textile waste, including Bags for Good and the 4KT Elephants project.
The top award, the Taylor Community Pride Shield, was won by UniCrew – the student volunteer organisation which encourages students to give back to Dunedin.
Among UniCrew’s activities have been clean-ups, weeding projects and tree plantings, along with encouraging students to be respectful of their environment.
The major individual award, the Pod environmental excellence award, was presented to Chris Homer for creating and executing a restoration plan for Kellas St Reserve in Macandrew Bay.
Working to create a community connected to the local environment, Mr Homer recruited neighbours to rack up 269 hours of trapping, weed control, planting, and track work.
The Spiralis Consultancy business award went to Monowai Ecological Ltd for its involvement in environmental projects across Dunedin, including Orokonui Ecosanctuary, the Halo Project, leading teams in the control of wilding pines, and co-ordinating groups of volunteers and sourcing funding for planting on the Otago Peninsula.
This year, a new award for best school project was sponsored by the Dunedin Amenities Society and won by Taieri College.
The school has actively worked to reduce plastic use by getting involved in Plastic Free July, running events and providing information to students and teachers about removing plastic in their day-to-day lives.
TAYLOR COMMUNITY PRIDE SHIELD (community groups/organisations)
Winner – UniCrew for ongoing efforts to help Keep Dunedin Beautiful.
Highly commended – Town Belt Kaitiaki.
Commended – Blueskin Youth and Community Amenities Association; West Harbour Community Board and West Harbour Beautification Trust.
Merit – Grants Braes Brownies; Community Care Trust.
THE POD AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE (individuals)
Winner – Chris Homer for restoration, trapping, weed control, planting and track work at Kellas St Reserve, Macandrew Bay.
Highly commended – Roger Johnston.
Commended – Laura Cope, Jamie Ledbetter.
Merit – Mandy Mayhem-Bullock, Alan Starrat, Dawn Coburn, Madeleine Child.
SPIRALIS CONSULTANCY BUSINESS AWARD
Winner – Monowai Ecological for environmental projects across Dunedin, including Orokonui Ecosanctuary, the Halo Project, wilding pines and planting on Otago Peninsula.
Highly commended – Karitane Maori Tours
Commended – Mopanui Studios and Homes
Merit – Hamburg Sud
DUNEDIN AMENITIES SOCIETY BEST SCHOOL PROJECT AWARD
Winner – Taieri College for actively working to reduce plastic use by getting involved in Plastic Free July.
Highly commended – Outram School, Wakari School.
Commended – St Leonards School.
Merit – Otago Childcare Centre Roslyn, Early Learning at Flippers, Sawyers Bay School, Andersons Bay Kindergarten, Balaclava School.
Robbie Reid for his work with the Task Force Green graffiti removal team for more than 10 years.
Steve Shaw for his work with Task Force Green for more than 10 years, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust trapping group, rhododendron planting and the West Harbour shared path development.