History of The Dunedin Environment Centre
The Dunedin Environment Centre office was first opened in 1992. Many local green groups came together to create a central meeting place and a venue for public discussions on environmental issues.
It also functioned as an information source for the public, housing many texts, journals and local and central government documents.
It also ran projects such as Adopt-A-Highway ( planting natives along SH1) in 1994-95 and Greener schools ( which supported the establishment of green groups amongst high school students) in 1995-96.
Many campaigns have also been run: such as the successful Forest Friendly Firewood campaigns of 1996-97 and the GE-Free campaigns of 1998-99.
Education has always been a major focus for the Centre, both in terms of printed material made available to the public and in active programs run.
The Centre produced a newsletter called Greenscene 4 times per annum, from 1993-2002, with wise environmental practice tips a major feature, as well as good information on current issues.
The Centre also fostered education about organic food growing which culminated in the establishment of the Dunedin Organic Urban Garden (DOUG) in 1996 at Shetland St, next to the Arai Te Uru Marae. This grew, became a venue for semi-formal and informal learning about all facets of food production and has incorporated a Community Native Nursery run by Hendrik Koch from 2001.
It is now called the Shetland St. Community Gardens.
Other ventures :
include an Urban recycling depot at our office from 2000-2002, and a Bicycle library where we lent out old, refurbished bikes at very low cost from 2000-2003 and of course we established the Adopt-A-Stream project, rehabilitating the areas around the Kaikorai Valley and it’s tributaries from 1996.
1.3km of riparian areas have been planted out since then and amenities such as park benches, artworks telling the cultural and ecological history of the place (designed by local schoolchildren) and walkways have been emplaced.
Unfortunately, due to mistakes made by government agencies in 2002 1nd 2003, funding for our facilities was cut and our office had to close.
Since then we have focused on our projects such as the Kaikorai Estuary Restoration Project, running workshops and informal learning at the Community Gardens.