Hurunui Youth Conservation site in full swing The Hurunui Youth Conservation Site was officially opened on Sunday 26 May with a fun day out, “Vision and Pines”.

This music festival was held to showcase the recently designated Youth Restoration site adjacent to the Balmoral Reserve camping ground. The event featured live music, workshops, food trucks and an outdoor movie.

The goal was to bring the community together and showcase what Hurunui young people have achieved. As part of the Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Programme, they are putting into action a youth- led restoration plan on a local site.

Left: ‘Open!’ Deputy Mayor Marie Black and Hurunui Youth Councillor Bradley White declare the youth conservation site OPEN. Right: Sean Ellis leads a Shelter Building and Bush Survival workshop.Photo credit: www.richietoamills.com

Hurunui Youth Council facilitator Krystal Jennings said the funding secured for the project aims to remove barriers that may prevent young people from exploring environmental citizenship.

“With mentoring and support, we are aiding our young people in their environmental journey and providing local opportunities for leadership, mentoring and volunteering,” she said.

“I am really proud of the ideas, passion and enthusiasm our young people have contributed to make Vision and Pines such a success. We hope to host it again in 2020, when we will plant the first round of native trees on the site.”
'Troll Finger' an epic kiwi rock climbing film playing at Vision and Pines.

Bradley White, a year 12 student at Hurunui College and Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project member, said Vision and Pines was well thought out.

“It went incredibly well, giving the youth and their families an amazing, fun day out,” he said. “It was awesome to see how many youth showed interest in the environment and the awesome plot of land we have some wicked ideas for. I can't wait to see the end project.”

Mike Bowie, Entomologist from Lincoln University, leads a land Invertebrates workshop.

Matthew Stanford, Enviroschools Canterbury Facilitator and River Invertebrates Workshop Leader, said it was great to be part of Vision and Pines and “the tiaki rangatahi leading the project should be really proud of themselves”.

“On the day, we contributed to an ecological baseline by assessing the water quality using the invertebrates that call the Hurunui awa/river home. We found lots of swimming mayfly that have a low tolerance to pollution,” he said.

What a spot for Matt Stanford’s River Invertebrates Workshop. Photo credit: www.richietoamills.com
“As the young people plan and develop the site, I hope they consider any impacts on the river environment. I look forward to seeing the project progress.”

The Hurunui Youth Restoration Site and Vision and Pines are part of a wider conservation project called the “Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project”. This kaitiakitanga project is made possible by Ministry of Youth Development funding that supports youth leadership, mentoring, volunteering and wellbeing.

Asra Grinders sings at dusk. Photo credit: www.richietoamills.com

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