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Published: 2009-04-08 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is inviting anyone who belongs to an environmental care group – or anyone interesting in joining one – to a networking field day on Wednesday, April 15.

The day, hosted by the Te Pahu Landcare Group, will kick off with a cuppa at the Te Pahu Community Hall at 9.30am and finish at 3pm.

“The main aim is to get likeminded people together to network, share ideas about environmental protection projects and get inspired,” Environment Waikato care group facilitator Therese Balvert said.

Environment Waikato will give presentations on sustainable agriculture, clean streams and water and soil quality trends, and a Waipa District Council representative will talk about the role of community partnerships in sustainable resource management.

There will also be a networking session where groups can discuss their projects, and a field trip to the Kaniwhaniwha River, where Te Pahu Landcare Group members will talk about their environmental restoration work.

All Waikato residents are invited to take part in the day.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Environment Waikato will run a free mini-van from its offices in Grey St, Hamilton to and from Te Pahu Community Hall if there is enough interest.

To register for the networking field day, or for more information, please call Therese Balvert on 0800 800 401 by 5pm, April 14.

Environment Waikato supports more than 40 landcare groups in our region involving more than 1000 people.  Their activities range from tree planting and pest management to sand dune restoration and reserve beautification.

Ms Balvert said a cost benefit analysis had shown there was a regional benefit of $5 from every $1 Environment Waikato spent to support community groups, which were about taking a community approach to protecting natural resources.

“Care groups are a great way for people to have fun, share ideas and build leadership skills.  We find people get a real sense of achievement from improving their local communities.”

Environment Waikato provides technical and financial support to environmental care groups in all stages of development.