South's green heroes earn recognition
The efforts of southern environmental champions have been recognised and celebrated at the 2014 Southland Environment Awards.
About 300 people attended the award ceremony at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill last night.
There were 37 nominees this year, the 19th year of the annual awards, which is on a par with last year.
There was a record number of nominees in the farming category, with seven farms named.
Event organiser Adrienne Henderson said nominees were from throughout the region and across the age spectrum. "We have kindergarten children right up to our eldest nominee, who is 90, and they're all doing, or have done, amazing work for the good of Southland's environment."
Winner: Cathy Macfie
Highly commended: Mick Carran
Cathy Macfie's passion for conservation and heritage education has earned her the top spot in the individual category.
Through her work, she had introduced young and old to the importance of natural habitats and heritage.
Winner: Forest & Bird Southland
Highly commended: Southland Community Nursery and Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust
Forest & Bird Southland has been recognised for its efforts to rejuvenate the Te Rere Reserve with the Community Group award.
Its work included about 1000 native plantings per year, fencing, track marking, weed and pest control, and penguin monitoring and research.
Winner: Southern Centre Dairies
Highly commended: Ewen and Diane Mathieson and David and Joanne Diprose
Environmental sustainability being at the heart of Southern Centre Dairies' large operation earned it the Farming category award.
Winner: Mainland Minerals Southern
Gore-based fine-particle fertiliser business Mainland Minerals Southern's dedication to reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous applied to land was behind the company's winning the award in the Commercial category.
Winner: Lees Street Kindergarten
Highly commended: Pukerau Primary School
Vegetable gardens, a nursery, and fruit tree plantings helped Lees Street Kindergarten earn the award for the Schools category.
Judges were particularly impressed with the children's knowledge of environmental issues.
Winner: Fiordland Wapiti Foundation
Highly commended: Phil Reid and Ros Cole
Overcoming inaccessible terrain to manage stoat control contributed to the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation being named winner of the Achiever category. The foundation also co-ordinates and funds the control plan for feral deer in the Fiordland National park.
Winner: Graham and Heather Milligan
The Milligans massive impact on trees through planted shelter and decades of taking the lead on farm forestry discussion groups was recognised with the award for the Innovator category.
Councillor's Special Award
Winner: Joyce Kolk
Arm-twisting became a valued method for Joyce Kolk, as she rallied 30 volunteers and thousands of dollars for the 2013 Stewart Island Coastal Clean Up, earning her the Councillor's Special Award.
The Southland Times