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Published: 2004-03-09 00:00:00

Tarpaulins painted with environmental messages about clean air will decorate a Tokoroa reserve on Saturday as teams from Environment Waikato’s Great E-scape challenge arrive in town.

The tarpaulins – entitled Clearing the Air - have been painted by school children as part of a Festival of the Environment competition. They will be on display from 11.30am at the reserve on the corner of Roslin Street and O’Sullivan Drive in Tokoroa and the results will be judged at 2.00pm by Conservation Minister Chris Carter and Tokoroa art teachers Carolyn Evans, Maureen Kinglsey and local artist Trent Tanoa.

The colourful tarpaulins can win the participants $300 worth of book vouchers. Once the art has been judged the E-scape teams get down to sorting wood into piles suitable for burning and keeping the air clean. This is their environmental challenge for the Tokoroa section of the event.

Three teams from the South Waikato District are competing in the E-Scape challenge, which has 20 teams of four working their way through the Waikato Region over the weekend doing environmental challenges on the way. The challenge starts in Taupo with a rafting event on Lake Taupo on Saturday morning and ends in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

Throughout the event the teams compete in adventures such as kayaking, abseiling down the Karapiro dam and a flying fox, all with an environmental message.

The Kinleith Kavaliers represent Carter Holt Harvey’s Kinleith plant and ABB. Kinleith also has another representative team, Kinleith Klingons and Putaruru has entered a team called Putaruru Pump. The other competing teams are from throughout the Region.

The E-Scape is the launch event for the Festival of the Environment which runs until March 21 with a wide variety of events and activities throughout the Region including zoo outings, tramps, a youth conference, bush walks, fishing contest, field trips, working bees and gully walks.

Tokoroa will also stage vehicle emission testing on Saturday from 11.30am to 2pm at the Roslin St Reserve, and Putaruru will have its Water Festival over the weekend.