The Shotover Wetlands are a unique ecological benefit located within Shotover Country which are easily accessible to the community from residential areas and reserves.
Wetlands now represent less than two percent of the total New Zealand land area, and they are a key part of our environment and biodiversity.
The Shotover Wetland Committee is a group of volunteers from the community working in partnership with Shotover Primary School, Gem’s Educational Childcare, Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, Shotover Country Development, Galloway Recreation Research and the QLDC (all represented on the committee).
The committee’s focus is to support the community (particularly the children). Over the coming years, and with considerable involvement of the Shotover Primary School, the committee have mapped out a program to achieve these goals. This involves regular planting and maintenance sessions, collecting photographic evidence of the wetland’s development, monitoring predators, bird and insect life, and water quality and flow to improve the ecology of the area and encourage greater biodiversity.
The committee are working with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust for the supply of plants and ecological expertise. Shotover Country, owners of the land before it was vested in the QLDC, are assisting with planning advice and weed removal and control.
To date, there has been three community planting days (planting approximately 1,200 natives) and a visit and presentation from Ruud Kleinpaste, the patron of the National Wetland Trust, as well as talks from the team at Wakatipu Reforestation Trust.
A leadership group of children (the Shotover Wetland Squad) has participated in a range of activities including producing a brochure for local residents and builders about caring for the wetland (which you can download here), setting up a nursery on the school grounds, preparing interpretation signage, and a blog to document wetland activities (wetsquad.blogspot.co.nz).