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Published: 2003-05-29 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is to provide $9500 towards an environmental education project and restoration work in the Tongariro National Park.

The Tongariro Natural History Society applied for the grant from the Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund to upgrade the loop track around Lake Rotopounamu, provide seating and landscaping for an outdoor classroom and produce interpretation panels.

The total cost of the project is $31,850, with contributions also coming from DoC, Bay of Plenty Community Trust, Yellow Pages, Lakeland Wireless, Taupo Community Arts Council and the Visitor Centre.

Corporate Planner KevinCollins said the two hour walk around the lake was popular with visitors, but the track provided few opportunities for interpretation or education about the area.

The Society began developing the project in October last year with a vision of restoring the biodiversity of the Mt Pihanga area by 2007. It had formed a partnership with DoC to do predator control using volunteers. A supporting letter from DoC said the project was “the most significant ecological restoration project planned in the World Heritage Area”.