Eco-hub not taken for granted

Publish Date : 24 Jan 2024
OME Ecohub OA

An environmental group based in Medlands, Aotea / Great Barrier, have created a community eco-hub thanks to nearly $14,000 of local board grants.

Oruawharo Medlands Ecovision (OME) is a community organisation which started in 2018 to deliver plantings and pest trapping, and the eco-hub is their initiative.

“Due to our small island population, community groups play an essential role in nurturing our environment,” says Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board chair Izzy Fordham.

“The board realised the potential of a local information and volunteer hub in Medlands during recent grant rounds.”

Chairperson of OME, Raoul Stuart, says that the new eco-hub on Oruawharo Lane is educational and aims to cater for the growth of the group.

“It’s an information centre and a place for gatherings. We have a library resource with plant and bird ID books,” says Raoul.

“First and foremost, it’s for the people working. If we extend the coverage of our predator control operation, we have to take on more of a workforce, and they need a central place to meet and keep their tools.”

Currently OME carries out predator trapping in the sand dunes and encourages locals to take part in predator control. They are also involved with the restoration of the wetlands through planting and trapping. Their initial traplines include 120 traps in the dunes, and about 60 in the wetlands. More than 6,500 predators have been caught so far.

The group consists mostly of volunteers.

Raoul explains their goal is to expand their predator control to encompass the entire ridgeline area up to Windy Hill.

The first tracks are being cut with some private properties now on board, following a community survey showing strong support for this expansion of the current pest control network.

“We have a really great core group of volunteers who take part in weekly working bees,” says Raoul. “We look forward to more volunteers on the odd occasion. Introducing weekend planting bees has attracted new people who often aren’t available on weekdays.”

Pop over to the OME eco-hub near Medlands Community Garden to check out the latest local environmental news on their information boards.

The purchase and construction of the eco-hub was funded through two different community grants from Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board.

If you or your community group has a project or initiative that could benefit from a grant, find out the criteria and application process here. The current funding round is open until 8 March 2024.

Stay up to date

Want to stay up to date with all the latest news from your area?

Sign up for Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board E-news and get monthly updates direct to your inbox.

Back to News