On your doorstep
Explore native bush remnants
Below is a map of native bush remnants and reserves in Invercargill. At these sites you can hear native birds and shift down a gear, while getting exercise on the walking tracks.
Your own patch
Do you have an area of old-growth native forest on your property? Or a wetland, native vegetated stream bank, native scrub or tussock grass? If so, would you like to find out more about the natural features and wildlife that it supports? Environment Southland is conducting free surveys of native biodiversity to help property owners gain a better understanding of what is on their patch. The High Values Area survey also provides useful tips on how to take care of your patch of native biodiversity.
Are there weeds growing on or near your property that are pest plants? Many of the weedy species that invade and damage our natural areas are ornamental plants that have 'jumped the fence' from home gardens and gone wild. Environment Southland and Weedbusters invite Southland gardeners to fight back on behalf of our native species. How? Choose native New Zealand plants to beautify your property!
The booklet 'Plant Me Instead', profiles weeds commonly found in gardens that present the greatest risk to New Zealand's native biodiversity. It also identifies beautiful native species that you can plant instead to replace the invaders and attract more native birds and wildlife to your property.
Download the Plant Me Instead booklet.
Visit an internationally recognised wetland
Invercargill has a wetland of international significance right on its doorstep. The Waituna Lagoon/Awarua Wetlands complex was the first place in New Zealand to have a wetland officially recognised under the Ramsar Convention and it is listed on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance.
Join or form a community group
Perhaps you have gone out and experienced some special native biodiversity on the doorstep of Invercargill, or maybe even found out more information about what is on your own property, but still want to do more. You can join or form your own landcare group to work with others to help take care of a special place in or around Invercargill.
Some existing local landcare groups at Bluff, Myross Bush, Otatara, Riverton and Waituna which you can get involved with are listed on the SERN website. Perhaps you want to establish a landcare group at another area local to you?
Create stormwater awareness
Stormwater is the water that runs off surface areas such as roofs, roads and driveways following rain. It either seeps through the soil or is transported by drains directly into natural watercourses or onto the land.
Washing your car on the grass verge instead of on the driveway is one way to ensure contaminants like sediment, oil and grease, organic material, faecal material and hazardous chemicals don't reach stormwater drains and end up in our rivers and estuaries.
Painting fish on drains is a great way to help people identify their nearest stormwater drain. It also creates awareness that what goes down the drain goes into the river, the estuary and eventually to the sea. The Invercargill City Council has resources for teaching people about stormwater drains and can supply paint and a fish template for paint fishing on drains around their neighbourhood, school or business.
Prevent pollution of waterways
Check out Environment Southland's Pollution Prevention Guide that contains specific information for industrial and commercial businesses. Read our page on protecting stormwater, or contact our pollution prevention team at Environment Southland.
Know the rules
If you are discharging (or proposing to discharge) stormwater, you need to be aware of the requirements for managing stormwater under the Southland Regional Water Plan. Refer to Environment Southland's stormwater guide for details of the relevant rules, and other information about applying for permits for the discharge of stormwater in the Southland region.
Get your school involved
As a school student, there is a lot you could do in your own school grounds. Here are some ideas - talk about them with your teacher.
- Are there weeds growing in your school that are pest plants? Ask your school about having a pest plant investigation.
- Interested in finding out about a stream near your school? What lives there? Where has the water come from? Is it healthy? A programme called Stream Connections allows students to study and connect with a local stream.