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Our Environment: Issue 22 Autumn 2000

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Prestigious award for Travis Wetland

The Travis Wetland Trust has received one of seven outstanding native wetland restoration projects awards.

The award was announced on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, by Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee. It recognised the Trust’s work in establishing the Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park in Burwood.

"Wetlands are seen as a bit of a poor cousin to our more charasmatic native species like the  kakapo and kiwi," the Minister said. "However, New Zealand’s wetlands are valuable ecosystems that support a multitude of life and are an essential part of our country’s unique biodiversity."

Approximately 120 hectares in size, Travis Wetland is the largest freshwater wetland remnant on the Canterbury Plains.

The Trust was formed in 1992 by a group of people to promote  restoration and protection of the wetland. Drained and filled for farming and housing, it had become choked with willow, gorse, broom, lupin and blackberry.

The Trust was the driving force in lobbying the City Council to buy the wetland. Since the final purchase in 1996 it has contibuted to the development of a concept plan and vision for the wetland. Regular work parties now carry out plantings and weed control in the reserve.

The water table has been restored and a central pond built. The wetland is inhabited by increasing numbers of wildlife including pukeko, scaup, pied stilt and paradise duck.

A planned information kiosk and education centre will contain information panels. Environmental education programmes are already operating successfully.

Announcing the seven awards, Sandra Lee said they provided a glimpse of the community  commitment to restoring our wetlands and the wildlife they contain. "The people behind these projects are working hard to conserve wetlands so that they are healthy natural areas that will be appreciated by generations to come," she said.

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