Monday, May 03, 2004

Wellington Streets Getting Back to Nature

2 May 2004

Conservation and art will meet in the classroom before hitting Wellington streets together as Drive By Art later in the year to mark Conservation Week.

Drive By Art is a student art programme which began last year. An initiative run by Wellington City Council’s Community Arts Office, it saw banners featuring innovative summer designs by Wellington schoolchildren installed on Oriental Parade to help mark the opening of Oriental Beach.

This year, in a joint venture between the Council and the Department of Conservation, creative young Wellington minds have been invited to mark Conservation Week from 2-8 August. With a theme of Conservation with Communities, it aims to celebrate grassroots involvement and the difference communities can, and do, make to the New Zealand environment. The conservation-theme banners will go up from mid-July and remain on display for several months.

The Council’s Community Arts Co-ordinator, Eric Holowacz, says the theme will challenge students to think and learn more about local resources and how to take a more active role in preserving and conserving them, and is calling for local schools to get involved.

“The Conservation Week theme will provide an opportunity for parents, students, and the wider community to have a closer look at what conservation means, especially to young people,” he says.

Invitations to participate have been sent to Wellington schools, and teachers and students have two months to complete their banners. All materials and paints will be supplied by the City Council.

“The first Drive By Art programme was a huge success, with entries from about 20 schools. We’re hoping for even more interest this year. Thanks to our major sponsor, Resene, there’s plenty of paint to go round,” says Eric.

Department of Conservation Community Relations Ranger Chandra Littlewood says the theme provides the perfect opportunity to combine conservation awareness, community involvement and collective creativity. “We hope that dozens of schools and hundreds of students join in and observe Conservation Week and help generate greater awareness and action for the environment. Conservation is a team effort, and the more people on the team the better.”

For further information contact:

Eric Holowicz, Community Arts Coordinator, tel 385 1929 mob 027 416 2190
Chandra Littlewood, DOC Community Relations Ranger, tel 470 8416
Phil Barclay, Council Communications, tel 801 3114 mob 027 601 3121.