The UC Student Volunteer Army (SVA) organises several large scale volunteer events outside of Christchurch every year. Read about their most recent trip to Queenstown and find out about their tree planting, BBQs and a morning swim in the chilly waters of Lake Wakatipu.
The decision to go to Queenstown was a bold move considering the that a camp has never been so far away before. However, it was decided that the excitement of Queenstown far outweighed the extra driving we would have to do. We were excited to also catch up with the new President and Vice-President of our newest Otago branch of the Student Volunteer Army to show them the ropes, and Queenstown was the perfect place to do so.
The UC vehicles were loaded, and bacon butties eaten with a prompt 6:30am start on the Friday. The volunteers were then picked up from Haere-Roa at 8:30am. There were some food and drink stops at Tekapo and Cromwell on the way to Queenstown which was a much needed relief for our volunteers and drivers before arriving at Base Backpackers at around 4:00pm. Volunteers had a delicious roast vege salad for dinner and free time before heading to Benny’s Big Bingo at Loco to cap the night off.
After brekkie the vans were collected from their various points around Queenstown before taking volunteers to the four projects. Three of these were tree planting projects in collaboration with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT). WRT was in the middle of their planting campaign before COVID-19 hit this year, and now they have to plant double the amount of saplings during the September planting period. We had over 60 volunteers across their three sites helping out with planting, fence building and mulching.
The fourth site was at the Kiwi Birdlife Park (KBP), where volunteers did track maintenance and weeding. KBP is home to over 100 native bird and reptiles. All of the species are part of managed conservation programs through the Department of Conservation, including the iconic kiwi, tuatara, South Island kākā, whio, pāteke, and others. Over 20 volunteers also got the explore the Park.
After the projects, the volunteers had time to explore Queenstown and the exec got some much-needed rest before the classic UC SVA BBQ at the beach to finish off the weekend. The next morning, we departed Queenstown to go back to UC at 9:30am after a quick dip into the Harbour.
Over 500 reusable face masks made, and counting!
Over the past three weeks, the Student Volunteer Army and the UC Sustainability Office have worked with over 100 incredible staff and student volunteers to make reusable face masks accessible for our UC community.
From donations of time, materials and sewing machines to mahi from students in CHCH101, and even a guest visit from VC Professor Cheryl de la Rey – we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received for this project.
The masks have been distributed to the support service teams on campus. If you’re in need of a mask and haven’t yet received one please contact Student Care.
The formal organised mask making workshops are coming to an end this week. However, if you’d like to still contribute to this project we’d love support with making masks from home – all materials provided! If you’re able to make some masks at home please contact the Sustainability Office on email@example.com.
Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te katoa – working together as one for the well-being of everyone.
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