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Southland's environmentalists were honoured in front of nearly 400 people at the Environment and Conservation Awards in Invercargill last night.
Environment Southland and the Department of Conservation together presented the region's first combined Environment and Conservation Awards, replacing the Southland Environment Award.
The awards drew 39 nominees from all over the region.
The winners were. -Schools: Fiordland Kindergarten - Nature Discovery Programme. Highly commended: Alice Casey, Otatara School.
Community groups: Hokonui Tramping Club - 45 years of commitment to maintaining the Grant's Bush Reserve Mataura Community Garden.
Conservation: Ascot Park Hotel - support of the historic restoration project on Dog Island/Motu Piu. Highly commended: Wattyl Paints.
Individual: "Tracker" Eric Black (Bluff) - commitment to the environment over decades. Highly commended: Estelle Leask (Bluff), Martin Sliva (Te Anau).
Farming: Warrick and Wendy Day (South Hillend/Pukemutu) - for their enhanced landscaping and environmentally sustainable farming operation. Highly commended: Lincoln Moffat (Eastern Bush).
Commercial: Downer NZ Ltd - Cleddau River flood protection scheme and associated infrastructure development. Highly commended: Automotive Solutions (Invercargill), Westpac Bank.
Environmental innovator: Dancing Star Foundation - Stewart Island pest-proof fence. Highly commended: Frank Wells (Invercargill).
Environmental achiever: Fiordland Marine Guardians - success in balancing environmental, community and commercial needs.
Highly commended: Otatara Landcare Group.
Councillors' special award: Kari Beaven (Stewart Island) - sustained commitment to environmental causes.