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Otago Peninsula Trust chairman Ross Smith presented the pupils with the award, which came with $500 in funding for their conservation project at Smiths Creek.
The Department of Conservation and the trust were ''trying something new this year'' with the award, which had previously been given to pupils who had completed conservation projects, Mr Smith said.
''In hindsight, we were doing it the wrong way.''
Asking pupils to apply for funding for a conservation project concept was ''more aligned ... to what I would call the real world'', Mr Smith said.
It also fitted neatly with Doc's recent emphasis on public-private partnerships to do conservation work, he said.
The pupils also won the collaboration of a Doc ranger, who would help with their project.
After receiving the award, Hannah thanked Doc and the trust. She and the other pupils were eager to continue their work at Smiths Creek, she said.
''We want to test and monitor the creek water over time and keep planting to stop slips.''