Island stay schools kids on environment

16:00, Jan 20 2014
Grace Cowley
CONSCIOUS KIWI: Grace Cowley wants to help spread environmental awareness.

She's just about to start high school, but new Takapuna Grammar pupil Grace Cowley is an old hand at doing her bit for the environment.

And the year 7 pupil "can't wait" to head off to the Department of Conservation's marine camp on Motutapu Island this week.

Grace, who has never set foot on the Hauraki Gulf island is looking forward to making new friends and "meeting like-minded people with the same values".

The 38-strong group will take part in MAD (Make a Difference) Marine, a waterway conservation programme organised by DOC and Auckland Council.

The kids will enjoy snorkelling, canoeing and tramping around the island, while learning conservation skills like beach cleanups and tree-planting.

One of the camp's aims is to make the youngsters ambassadors for the environment, taking their awareness, skills and knowledge back to school with them.


"People think it all sounds too big, and ‘I can't do anything about it,' but there's small things you can do for the environment," she says.

"Hopefully I can get some more people to go to the camp for next year."

Mum Julie Richardson says she's "so proud" of her daughter Grace.

"She's always had this drive and awareness.

"When other kids wanted Dolly magazines, Grace wanted a subscription to National Geographic," she says.

"Even on holiday she's picking up rubbish on the beach," Ms Richardson says.

North Shore Times