Working as a ranger in our city’s residential red zone is a dream come true for Sarah Mankelow.
Sarah is a Community Partnership Ranger, a role that she recently started and describes as a privilege.
“Conservation has been my passion my whole life. My dream job as a teen was to work as a conservation officer, so I feel privileged and blessed to do this work.”
Monday 31 July marks World Ranger Day so Christchurch City Council is celebrating the work of all of its rangers as the key protectors of parks and conservation for the organisation.
Sarah is often the first contact for people who have questions and concerns about the red zone. She works to connect the many community groups who operate in the red zone.
“There are all sorts of people doing all sorts of creative and interesting things in the red zone. Compost-making, disc golf, community gardens and restoration, nature play, the foraging community – these groups are all passionate users of the red zone.
Sarah says her job is to support the Christchurch community to contribute and be part of the red zone.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to nurture nature right on our doorstep, to turn our city into a wetland forest city.”
Her role involves talking to groups, working with schools, and helping community shape their green spaces.
A pilot programme is also underway for high school students to gain practical work experience by working on restoration projects in the red zone, and maybe inspire them to follow a career in conservation.
Kay Holder, Manager Regional Parks, says World Ranger Day is a time to reflect on the valuable work rangers do in New Zealand and around the world.
“Our rangers are highly valued across the city and Banks Peninsula – working closely with community groups protecting and restoring our biodiversity and improving Parks’ recreation facilities.”
There are numerous opportunities to help out our local environment in a nearby park with Council's rangers.