The project is a valuable source of information for students of all levels. In addition to educational tours, there is the potential for hands-on involvement, propagating and planting native species, skink releases and monitoring. We already provide local schools with educational material on lizard ecology and conservation, and this has been included in teaching curricula. The Trust envisages that secondary schools, primary schools, and kindergartens will be involved in an “Adopt a Skink” initiative highlighting the amazing attributes of these endangered animals. At the tertiary level it is easy to see how students may wish to use this facility in furthering their careers in research.
The Trust has given a number of talks to schools about the project and lizard conservation in general. The Alexandra Primary School has held several fund-raising events for COET.
The Trust has held 19 weeding and replanting days. Ten to twenty people usually attend from as far away as Dunedin and Wanaka. Interviews and activities were covered by TV1’s programme, Rural Delivery on our first field day. The New Zealand Ecosystem Restoration Network recently interviewed COET, which is downloadable from their website. The new SKY digital channel recently interviewed some of our Trustees.
Community benefits will also accrue in the areas