About 300 people joined the National Wetland Trust on the 3rd of February at Lake Serpentine/Rotopiko to celebrate the start of the National Wetland Centre project. After a brief site blessing by local iwi Ngati Apakura and talks by supporters and the two co-founders, attendees took a walk up a virtual ‘garden path’ showcasing our plans for a series of gardens representing New Zealand’s range of wetland types, and spoke to designers about plans for the visitor building and exhibits.
The kids’ patience during the formal ceremony was rewarded by a range of fun, educational and creative activities from flax weaving to making bird masks and bonsai bogs. An intrepid group joined the Bog Man on ‘scramble through the bramble’ (4 km walk around newly acquired esplanade reserve – no formed track yet…), while others enjoyed a more leisurely guided walk or a stroll in their own time around the site of the proposed wetland centre. A nature photography class was also popular, as were the live eels and kids eel slide.
Restoration of the site will soon begin in earnest with the pending construction of a pest fence to protect and enhance native wildlife. Fundraising continues for the wetland gardens, visitor building and interpretation to create the National Wetland Centre.
For more details, contact Karen Denyer of the NZ Wetland Trust.