coverA few people have been inquiring whether I will be doing a talk in Wellington about Ravaged Beauty and the environmental history of the Manawatu. The answer is yes.

Other upcoming talks include the following:

  • Kapiti Forest & Bird: 7:30 pm 24 September (today!), Presbyterian Church Hall, Waikanae
  • Otaki Historical Society: 7:30pm 7 October, Otaki
  • National Library Author’s Voice Series: 12:10pm 23 October, National Library, Wellington
  • Mina McKenzie Memorial Lecture: 7 pm 5 November, Te Manawa, Palmerston North
  • Kapiti WEA course: 10am 8 November, Paraparaumu

(more…)

The “Basin Reserve” sports ground in central Wellington is a well-known and unavoidable landmark, as a convergence point for four major roads which circle around its perimeter, as well as for fans of “the gentile sport”. However few are likely to be aware of its fascinating environmental history, and how it came to be a sports ground. (more…)

At envirohistory NZ, we like to review the most popular posts of each quarter (though sometimes – such as on this occasion – a little late). The top five posts of the first quarter of 2011 covered a wide breadth of topics, from the the environmental histories which contributed to the devastating consequences of the seismic disasters of Christchurch and Japan; an urban wetland; a history of whaling in New Zealand; and the Scandanavian settlers of the Manawatu. Here are the topics in order of hits:

1. The Scandinavian settlers of the Manawatu

2. Waitangi Park – an urban wetland recreated

3. Christchurch: a city haunted by its environmental past? (more…)

With its opening in 2006, the 6.5 hectare Waitangi Park, on Wellington’s waterfront [click here to view location], became New Zealand’s largest new urban park in 100 years. Waitangi Park is near the site of the old Waitangi wetland, which was fed by the Waitangi Stream. Rich with eel, fish and shellfish, it was used for centuries by Maori for food gathering, as a source of fresh water, and as a place to launch their canoes (or waka) into the sea. (more…)

A mother and son outing today was a reminder that environmental history can be discovered in unexpected places. Carter and I went to Wellington this morning to check out the RailEx Model Train Show. As soon as he entered the expo room, his eyes lit up, in unison with the eyes of all the other little boys (and girls – but mainly boys) who ran excitedly from one exhibit to another. (more…)

A new Services page outlines the services that are now on offer by Catherine Knight, the convener and primary contributor to the envirohistory NZ website. These services include: research, policy and analysis, writing, editing, proofreading and Q&A. Catherine is also able to offer expert Japanese to English translations! See the Services page for more details of services and to view Catherine’s portfolio.

Downtown Wellington is hosting a photography exhibition by a “wildly talented” (in more ways than one) Sam O’Leary this month. Sam’s photographs of New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places will be on show from the 23 April (opening night) through to May 14 at Conservation House (Department of Conservation), Manners Street, Wellington. (Exhibition open Monday through to Friday.)

Sam’s photographs can be viewed at Sam O’Leary’s website.

Photographs (A2 size and framed in black with white matt border) will also be available for sale at the exhibition for $400 each.

As well as being a talented photographer, Sam works for the Department of Conservation, and runs their Conservation Blog.

[Photo: Green gecko in friend's garden (Wellington), by Sam O'Leary]

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