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“Helpers from primary school age upward have formed groups to help but they can’t do it with their bare hands, they need tools,” Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust project manager Duncan Faulkner said.
The trust is seeking $25,000 in sponsorship and community donations for gear and operating costs. Mr Faulkner said real progress had been made in bringing together agencies that look after Lake Dunstan and it was now up to the "team of five thousand locals" to ensure success.
The trust has $1million in funding from the Government’s Covid-19 recovery "Jobs for Nature" programme.
This will create 10 jobs and fund landscape restoration, community outreach and the development of a community vision for the lake.
A community co-ordinator and landscape architect are being appointed.
The trust also wants to encourage three groups of young people keen to tackle weeds and rubbish and improve community facilities, something the funding partly covers.
Cromwell College teachers Keiran Parsons and Stuart Land are working with the "Lake Boys", a group of college boys who are monitoring sediment at a Bannockburn swimming hole.
A Cromwell Youth Council group is advocating outside of the college and planning to team up with a service club in the spring for a community clean-up.
At Cromwell Primary School, a Junior Guardians of Lake Dunstan group plans to adopt a lakeside area and work with other groups to make it a fun, educational picnic spot.
Mr Faulkner said community feedback was welcome.
“Lake Dunstan’s biggest issue is that there has never been a vision for it.
"We want to know what people want, and what they’re concerned about — watersports, walkways, mindfulness, education, landscaping, water quality; all that stuff."
More information is on the trust’s website www.lakedunstan.org.