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Hamilton Gardens is one of our city’s biggest success stories - read about what's coming next.
Hamiltonians are passionate about the Waikato River – read about what's planned for its future.
Conservation has been a lifelong interest for Warren Stace and has led to him volunteering a great deal of time to various projects throughout the Waikato.
Warren worked for various local and regional councils in land surveying and town planning, which developed his passion for conservation.
When he retired in 2002, he joined Tui 2000, a Hamilton-based environmental group with a focus on the restoration of natural reserves in the Waikato. He served for many years in various roles for Tui 2000 across a number of natural areas in the Waikato.
Warren also became involved with the work around preserving the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, which led to him being a member of the Waiwhakareke Advisory Group for 12 years. This work was honoured with a Civic Award from Hamilton City Council in 2011.
"My work had always made me interested in conservation issues. Joining tui 2000 when I retired was great for me, as it was a group that shared my enthusiasm for natural heritage," he says.
His voluntary work has taken on many forms, from applying for funding for new plants for natural reserves, through to serving on committees and advisory groups and also plenty of time helping with the physical work of planting and maintaining the reserves, although he is doing less of this now. He was recently involved in Arbor Day activities at Waiwhakareke, and has done so for a number of years.
Warren has worked tirelessly to help raise several hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf off Tui 2000 for planting at Waiwhakareke, and other natural heritage areas in the Waikato. He says seeing the reserve flourish has been an achievement that he is very proud of.
"Filling out funding applications is pretty time consuming, but it is all worth it to see the end result at Waiwhakereke," he says.
Warren’s advice for other older people who may be interested in volunteering is to get involved, and join a group that can help you. But most importantly, find things you enjoy.
"Follow your interests. If there is something you already have an interest in, see if you can donate your time to help with it. There is always something that needs to be done."
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Volunteering Waikato at 07 839 3191 or www.volunteeringwaikato.org.nz.