Our natural world
What’s happening at the Head of the Lake...
The Head of the Lake is a remarkable place to call home and those of us lucky enough to live here, really appreciate the amazing environment around us. The mountains are stunning in all weathers but closer inspection reveals that we have some big issues to grapple with as we balance a pristine environment with a diversity of opportunities to sustain our community.
Water quality testing by Otago Regional Council met the high standards now required by the ORC Water Plan and the farming community is managing to operate within these parameters. The township is slowly working towards a reticulated waste water system for the whole community to ensure good water quality at the Head of the Lake.
We still have a variety of native bird species in the surrounding valleys but the threat from introduced predators is enormous and ongoing. Rats, stoats, cats and possums are a huge challenge to our fauna and flora. The Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust is an exciting initiative to work collaboratively with DOC to fund best practice predator control over 32,800ha of the Dart and its tributary valleys and many locals are actively killing predators in their own backyard.
The extension of the Lagoon Walkway in 2012 was a great way to mark 150 years of pakeha settlement and Rusty Varcoe has maintained four traps along the route whilst Paul Chapman has removed weed species. The work of the Wakatipu Island Reforestation Trust is a great local example of what can happen with revegetation and predator eradication. Perhaps Paul Callaghan’s dream of a predator free New Zealand can become a reality!
Elsewhere in the community the swimming pool is heated by solar panels, plans for the new museum include sustainable power, Glenorchy Primary School has some great environmental initiatives underway and the new camping ground aims to meet strict sustainability criteria. Other private businesses are developing sustainable initiatives and the successful Stop the Tunnel campaign has morphed into Enviro GY to coordinate community environmental projects.
You can find an overview of these activities below and if you are keen to get involved, pleased contact the appropriate people.