Roadside planting days, seed swap groups, pest eradication efforts and a youth employment scheme are just some of the initiatives which have earned Sustainable Paremoremo the title of Supreme Winner at this year’s Auckland Council Sustainable Environment Awards.
Praised by judges as a model for other communities, Sustainable Paremoremo is a network of community groups which began in 2007 when a small number of locals came together with a common goal to strengthen their community.
Since the formation, the group has overseen the development of a nut and fruit tree collection with around 30 children attending a weekly gardening club, community gardening projects, rubbish clean ups, wharf care, a neighbourhood support group and numerous other ventures.
Judges also awarded the group the Community category, applauding them as “a highly motivated, enthusiastic group . . . with strong structures and systems in place and a sustaining growth that will undoubtedly ensure the overall sustainability and long term success of the project in the future.”
Other notable award winners include Isabelle Verney, a former Takapuna Grammar School student who took home the Youth category’s top prize for implementing a Conscious Consumer workshop – now part of the curriculum for Year 9 students – and a ‘litter monster’ project presented at school assembly to raise awareness of litter.
Isabelle was part of the Make a Difference Sustainability Forum, the Sir Peter Blake Youth Enviro Leaders Forum and the London International Youth Science Forum, where she led a debate on renewable energy.
Winners and Placings:
Winner: Sustainable Paremoremo
Highly Commended: Kaipatkiki Project, Friends of Mangemangeroa
Commended St Pauls Church, Rangitoto Island, Old Teaching School
Winner: Owairaka District School
Highly Commended: Meadowbank School
Commended: Manurewa East School Enviro Warriors, May Road School
Winner: Isabelle Verney
Highly Commended: Luke Carey
Commended: Ben Dowdle, Aiden McLean
Winner: John Smith
Highly Commended: Stafford Flood
Commended: Alicia Warren