Abel Tasman Education programme expands

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We are delighted to announce that more young people from the Nelson / Tasman region will be connecting with the Abel Tasman as our environmental education programme expands.

In 2019 Ngatimoti and Lower Moutere School’s will “Adopt a Section” of the Abel Tasman National Park as part of Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation’s education programme.  Four students from each school will also become Abel Tasman Youth Ambassadors. They join representatives from Motueka High School, Golden Bay High School, Motupipi Primary School and Te Awhina and Onetahua maraes,who are already involved in the programme.

Lower Moutere School will adopt Marahau to Tinline and Ngatimoti School adopts Bark Bay. Golden Bay High School already cares for Hadfield Clearing; Motupipi Primary School, the Wainui sandspit to Taupo Point and Motueka High School – Anchorage to Watering Cove.  

Project Janszoon director Bruce Vander Lee says the two new schools were already learning about conservation at their schools and were keen to take their environmental learning to the next level in the Abel Tasman.

“Our 30 year vision is to not only ecologically transform the Abel Tasman National Park, but to also inspire the next generation to take care of it. We are so impressed with the focus these schools have on their environment and the park and look forward to working with them,” he says.

DOC Project Janszoon Education Biodiversity ranger Meagan Goodman says the schools are keen to grow their relationships with the Abel Tasman, incorporating the park into their curriculum using inquiry based learning. 

“All the schools are really ambitious about what they want to achieve. DOC and Project Janszoon have a huge amount of knowledge and skills so we can provide the tools and techniques to ensure they realise their goals,” she says.

“This is the most exciting opportunity for Lower Moutere students to be involved in a project that will benefit the park environment into the future. We feel privleged to be a part of the education programme and are excited about what we can accomplish in our adopted section,” says Lower Moutere School principal Chris Bascand.

A big thanks must go to Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle who already provide transport for hundreds of students and ambassadors into the park and have extended that to take Ngatimoti students to Bark Bay.

“The Knapp family is incredibly supportive of Project Janszoon and the education project. Being able to give the younger generation free access to the park to carry out conservation work and learn about the different ecosystems is dear to their heart”, says Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle Marketing Manager Mark Burnaby.

Bruce Vander Lee says ultimately we want to work with as many schools in the region as we can, in some way.

“We are now looking at a Community Conservation model where we look at projects that local schools are involved in, in their own back yards, and how we can add value to their environmental learning when they spend time in the Abel Tasman,” he says.

The 2019 Abel Tasman Youth Ambassadors at Hadfield Clearing

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