When it comes to taking steps to look after our environment, Christchurch’s Hotel Grand Chancellor is a role model! The hotel has been implementing internal waste reducing initiatives, and using their financial savings from these initiatives to put back into protecting Christchurch’s green spaces.
The Christchurch Hotel Grand Chancellor decided to set up a weedbusting “Green Team” in 2008. Since then, the dedicated weedbusting Green Team has volunteered one day each, every two months, to assist Christchurch City Council Port Hills Park Rangers with controlling weeds and restoration planting. Port Hills Park Ranger Nigel Morritt, who has been working with the Green Team, was so impressed with their dedication and genuine interest that he nominated them for this year’s Canterbury 2010 Weedbuster Industry award.
Nigel says, “In the time the Green Team has been working with us they have undertaken a range of work including controlling boneseed in Barnett Park, old man’s beard in Reuter Park, gorse on Cooper’s Knob and they have also replanted areas where weeds have been removed”.
Weedbusting work is not always an easy task with the team working in areas that usually involves clambering around steep slopes amongst gorse, blackberry and stinging nettles, often in difficult weather conditions.
“I have been most impressed by the Green Team’s tenacity and genuine desire to get the job done and make a positive difference in their regional parks” comments Nigel.
“Even in tough, outdoor working conditions, the team are always in good humour and a pleasure to work with”.
Hotel Grand Chancellor Christchurch Rooms Division Manager Anton Trist says, “Every two months we have been able to give about 25-30 hours of our staffs’ time to volunteer on the Port Hills. We have been able to fund staff time from the savings incurred when our guests choose to “Go Green” and not have their room serviced.”
“Weedbusting on the Port Hills is something that the Green Team really enjoys. It is wonderful to get outdoors for a day away from the office. The work is rewarding and gives us all a sense of achievement. Being nominated and winning the Weedbusters Industry award was not expected but it does feel great to be recognised and our efforts appreciated. This is a long term commitment for the hotel and something we hope to continue with our next scheduled working bee in October”.
The Weedbusters judging panel (Bryan Jenkins- Environment Canterbury CEO, Jon Sullivan- Lincoln University Ecologist, and Mary Lovell-Smith-The Press Gardening Editor) were so pleased to see a business such as Christchurch’s Hotel Grand Chancellor volunteering staff time to work on environmental issues outside of their main business, especially weeds which are often considered an unglamorous part of environmental work!
“It is encouraging and heartening to see a business that has no direct link with weeds giving staff time to work on the huge environmental threat that weeds present. The Green Team are an inspiration and hopefully a role model to industry,” says Jenkins.
The Hotel Grand Chancellor Green Team received their 2010 Weedbuster Industry award at the Birdlings Flat Weedbuster award presentation on Wednesday 1st September, presented by Department of Conservation Canterbury Conservator, Mike Cuddihy. Other local Weedbusters celebrated at the presentation were Sue Hall – Individuals Award, Leeston Tramway Reserve Trust – Restoration Award, and Ken Sitarz, Highly Commended for the Individuals section.
If your organisation would like to get involved with Weedbusters visit www.weedbusters.org.nz
The Weedbusters presentation was proudly supported by Christchurch City Council, Department of Conservation, and Environment Canterbury.