top of page
Okarito Native Plants Trust Logo

Celebrating The Launch of the Ōkārito Plant Project and the Importance of Environmental Protection

Updated: Jan 25

Founder of the Okarito Plant Project, Paula Sheridan, Speaking At The Official Launch Event

Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand's West Coast, the Ōkārito Plant Project reached a significant milestone with its launch celebration. Hosted at the Franz Josef Glacier Guides, this event marked the start of a remarkable journey towards regenerative tourism, community engagement and environmental preservation.

Weeding and Releasing at Lake Matheson Sullivan Farm Project

The day began with volunteers from Development West Coast, who rolled up their sleeves to assist in weeding and releasing plantings at the Lake Matheson Sullivan Farm Project. Set against the stunning backdrop of Aoraki Mount Cook and Tasman, it was an awe-inspiring start to our day. We couldn't have asked for a more picturesque location to kick off our celebrations. Paula Sheridan & Swade Finch, Tash Goodwin and Julie Wolbers from the Ōkārito Plant Project led the way.

A Group Of Conservation Volunteers From Development West Coast Standing In A Farm Paddock Getting Ready To PLant Trees With Mount Cook And Mount Tasman In The Background

Joining Forces in Franz Josef Glacier

Following our time at the farm, we gathered in Franz Josef Glacier, where our ranks were bolstered by members of the Department of Conservation and representatives of business partners. Also present were a number of interested businesses from the surrounding areas, keen to learn more about becoming a part of this transformative endeavor.

The Ōkārito Native Plant Trust Setting the Stage

A Woman Speaking At the Launch Event For The Okarito Plant Project In Franz Josef Glacier West Coast New Zealand

Paula Sheridan, the driving force behind the Ōkārito Plant Project (and business partner with Ōkārito Boat Eco Tours), commenced the proceedings with an introduction sharing the project's origins, which trace back to collaborative efforts between the Department of Conservation, the Ōkārito Community, and the Air New Zealand Environment Trust. This collaboration has paved the way for the evolution of the Ōkārito Native Plants Trust and the subsequent birth of the ŌkāritoPlant Project.

Zak Shaw of Development West Coast took the stage, emphasising the profound significance of community initiatives and the importance of environmental protection and regeneration. He encouraged us all to explore sustainable practices in the tourism industry, highlighting the need for collaboration and the welcoming of new businesses to join forces with this inspiring project.

A Man From Development West Coast Speaking At the Launch Event For The Okarito Plant Project In Franz Josef Glacier West Coast New Zealand

Importance of Environmental Protection: Ōkārito Plant Project Partners Speak

Janelle Shaw from the Franz Josef Glacier Guides (an official partner of the Ōkārito Plant Project) shared her experience of partnership and camaraderie. She attested to the immeasurable value of working alongside other businesses, which has not only enriched her own business but has also contributed to the quest for sustainable and regenerative tourism in the region.

A Woman Speaking At the Launch Event For The Okarito Plant Project About The Importance Of Environmental Protection And Regeneration

Julie Wolbers, representing Ribbonwood Retreat (business partner), echoed similar sentiments. She and her partner, Jonathan, deeply appreciate the opportunity to contribute to local projects and to witness the enthusiastic hands of the community's children making a meaningful impact.

Members Of The Public Listening To Guest Speakers At Okarito Plant Project Launch Event

Tash Goodwin, a crucial part of the Ōkārito Plant Project (an official partner with Glacier Valley EcoTours), was also on hand. She answered questions and passionately encouraged local businesses to join this compelling cause.

The Impact of the Launch

Business Representatives Socialising At The Franz Josef Glacier Guides Glacier Base Okarito Plant Project Launch Event

The launch was not just a celebration but a call to action, and it yielded exceptional results. Three new partners are interested in joining the Ōkārito Plant Project, further expanding its reach and influence. Additionally, we received the green light from another landowner to embark on a waterway planting project come autumn, underlining the momentum and enthusiasm surrounding this venture.

The launch was more than an event; it was a declaration of our collective commitment to environmental preservation and community unity. As the Ōkārito Plant Project continues to thrive, we look forward to more partnerships, more projects, and a deeper involvement with all levels of community maintaining and increasing our biodiversity for the health of us and all of our native species and increasing bird life.

Thank you to all who joined us on this remarkable day, and here's to many more extraordinary moments on our journey of regeneration.

110 views0 comments


bottom of page