'Model' community scoops council's environment awards

'Model' community scoops council's environment awards

Sustainable Paremoremo, the supreme winner at this year’s Auckland Council Sustainable Environment Awards, has been praised by judges as a model for other communities.

Auckland Council 2012 environment awardsSustainable Paremoremo (which also won the community category) is a network of community groups with a multitude of projects on the go, from weed and pest eradication to rubbish clean ups, community gardening, wharf care, and a youth employment scheme.

Sustainable Paremoremo began in 2007, when a small group of people came together with a common love of the local natural environment, and a common goal to strengthen their community. Its motto is “care for ourselves, our families, our neighbours and our environment".

Other category winners named at the prestigious sustainable awards are:

Isabelle Verney in the youth category, who was part of the Make a Difference Sustainability Forum, the Sir Peter Blake Youth Enviro Leaders Forum and the London International Youth Science Forum, where she led a debate on renewable energy. The former Takapuna Grammar School student counts one of her biggest successes as organising the Conscious Consumer workshop, which became part of the curriculum for all Year 9s

John Smith in the individual category, who was instrumental in the restoration of the Puhinui Stream, where volunteers planted 6300 colonising plants in 2011, and self-appointed project manager on the Manukau section of the Te Araroa trail stretching from Cape Reinga to Bluff – one of the longest walking routes in the world.

Owairaka District School, where all 360 students are involved in sustainable activities at the school, together with staff, families and the local community. Environmental awareness is one of the four curriculum pillars at the school, which boasts numerous gardens including a Zen garden, a fale and Pasifika garden, an Indian garden and a butterfly garden.

Other initiatives include composting and worm farms, a Fruit in Schools programme, waste auditing, and an ‘Enviro Thinkers’ group to encourage others to take action.

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