Keep conservation going!

Michelle Elborn of Bay Conservation Alliance, which acts as an umbrella charity to help our region’s conservation groups. Photo: John Borren.

They’re at the heart of our region’s conservation efforts – from helping volunteers care for our little blue penguins to protecting our native forests.

Yet like all great volunteer works, it takes funds to keep going! Bay Conservation Alliance is another Bay of Plenty not-for-profit organisation that has been selected for The Funding Network NZ’s Generosity Generator – giving the group the tools needed to run a successful crowdfunding campaign through Givealittle. 

Constant need

Bay Conservation Alliance chief executive Michelle Elborn says the charity is very excited to be a part of this fundraising programme.

“There’s just a constant ongoing need for funding with environmental initiatives.

“It’s a constant challenge for all sorts of conservation charities and groups to access funding to really enable some great outcomes.”

Michelle says Bay Conservation Alliance essentially acts as an umbrella charity to help our region’s conservation groups.

“My team here support conservation groups in different ways.

“So sometimes it’s helping a group work out how they attract and retain more volunteers…it might be how they are planning for predator control and what new technologies might be available that they could be utilising, and we run lots of training events throughout the year for volunteers.”

29 groups

There are 29 different community-led conservation groups that Bay Conservation Alliance is supporting – covering a broad spectrum of protective work.

One is the Western Bay Wildlife Trust.

“They focus on little blue penguins and a number of other species around Mauao and Moturiki/Leisure Island and they just do what they can to support those species,” says Michelle.

“They started that work after the Rena disaster and have continued since.”

Another is the Aongatete Forest Project, which is working towards restoring the 500 hectares of native forest in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.

“They’ve been doing pest control in there for more than a decade and the public can go and do walks in the area. It’s got notably more bird life in there compared to other parts of the conservation park.”

Michelle says their organisation has a fundraising target of $10,000 – so they can continue supporting these types of conservation projects.

With the Givealittle page live, she says: “It’s our first time having a go at this so we just encourage people to get behind us and donate if they can”.

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