Teacher Tina Dalliston (middle) with students from Francis Douglas Memorial College.

Over the last two years Year 10 students from Francis Douglas Memorial College have adopted a large part of Centennial Park in New Plymouth as part of the school’s stewardship programme. Led by teacher Tina Dalliston, 150 students have helped to make, set and regularly monitor 100 T-Rex traps along the coastline.

“This ongoing work helps us to remind students that we all have an impact on others and our environment and we need to be conscious of how we manage that,” says Tina.

DOC Biodiversity Co-ordinator Tim Sjoberg is grateful for Tina’s leadership, which in turn has provided opportunities for pupils to learn about biodiversity on how they can make a difference.

“Tina is the driving force behind this predator control work. We’re so grateful to her and the school for supporting this initiative,” says Tim. “As a result, we have had a reduction in pests swimming to Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands which we hope will see some 19 species of seabirds and also threatened plants and lizards thrive again.”

The effort by Tina and the students was rewarded with a 2018 Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award.

“We were really grateful for all the organisations who have partnered with us to allow delivery of this programme and to the regional council for the recognition that validates the programme in the eyes of our boys,” says Tina.

Francis Douglas Memorial College Deputy Principle Tim Stuck says, “it is great to see our young leaders taking a keen interest in biodiversity and environmental management as both a passion and potential profession in the future. And this opportunity was presented, thanks to Tina.”