A day volunteering on Karioi

Meet one of our young volunteers, Summer.

“I am always keen to volunteer for the Karioi Project, checking traps and helping on bait deploy days as I get to explore more of Karioi. I am constantly surprised by the beauty of the maunga that I stumble across every time. I love how every deployment is different, but I can always count on delicious cake and tea!

Being a youth, it’s also great to connect with people who are older than me during the bait deployments as I get to chat and learn about a variety of things that I wouldn’t if I was with other people my age.”

Summer is 17 years old and has been a regular Karioi volunteer for the last year. 

Karioi bait station days usually involve around 30 dedicated volunteers who gather early in the morning for a H&S briefing before being dropped off near the start of their bait lines on the edge of the bush. Backpacks are laden with supplies and everyone’s puku is filled with cake and enthusiasm. 

With a wealth of knowledge and a genuine love for the environment, returning volunteers are paired up with new and inexperienced volunteers to share their knowledge of both the process and the rugged trails.

Bait stations are systematically set up throughout 700 hectares of Karioi, and a few times a year are carefully filled with the necessary toxins targeting invasive species and protecting the native flora and fauna. Clear data is kept to know how much bait is taken every time. 

Each refill is a small act of conservation, a tangible step towards safeguarding the delicate balance of our forest ecosystem. But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the day is the sense of accomplishment that flourishes among everyone involved. As we tackle this huge task together, laughter and conversation start to flow freely and new friendships are formed. 

First-time volunteer Lana says “Volunteering on Karioi for a day is a highlight of my recent visit back home. It was awesome spending time with the team and the other volunteers. I love the energy, dedication and care for the environment and community, and also how welcome the Karioi team made everyone feel.”

We know that our work is far from over – but with dedicated volunteers, the future of Karioi is in good hands.

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