Waikato Regional Council summer student Jess Pasisi visited Pukemokemoke for the first time yesterday to attend the Landcare Field Day. She reports on an inspiring experience.
It was day of pests, networking and bats at the annual Landcare Networking Field Day at Tauhei Marae and the Pukemokemoke Reserve, near Gordonton.
The event brought together more than 50 people from the region’s landcare groups, agencies, the local community and some very interested international visitors from as far as Borneo, the Netherlands and the United States.
The day started out with promise as the dry spell affecting most of the region gave perfect conditions for outdoor presentations, held at the reserve, on pest management and the latest innovations, research, products and personal experiences from landcare groups and council staff of “knocking back” those pesky weeds and animal pests.
After a hearty kai put on by the Tauhei marae, an afternoon guided walk through the reserve was filled with great insights from Warwick Silvester, Alan Leadley and Jim Pene; all passionate storytellers and locals.
But by far the most exciting for many of the first-time visitors was the night session listening for bats, finding glow worms and getting up close with a family of weta.
Woven throughout the day were networking opportunities affording participants to engage with like-minded people and share their experiences and passion for the environment.
Some thought-provoking points made by guest speaker Andrew Sinclair from Whakaupoko West Franklin Landcare Group challenged participants to reflect on the bigger picture and the role we all have in taking responsibility for the environment.
“It’s about taking great ideas beyond local… building that sense of community and place,” said Andrew, an important point not just for landcare groups but for our wider communities as well.
The day was inspiring, packed with great ideas and the sharing of knowledge from people at varying levels of landcare involvement.
It really is in the heart of the volunteers and supporters tirelessly working at the ground level to restore, enhance and protect our unique and truly spectacular biodiversity that is having such a positive ripple effect, not only in the Waikato but throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand.
*The day was organised by Waikato Regional Council, NZ Landcare Trust, Waikato Biodiversity Forum and the Friends of Pukemokemoke.