Friends of the Farm is a voluntary community group in Mangere Bridge, Auckland, who organises regular community clean ups along the Mangere Bridge foreshore (Manukau Harbour). They raise awareness about the environmental impact of rubbish and they inspire and motivate the local community to care for “their patch”. Because they are local, they can respond to local needs, like spring tides bringing in lots of rubbish along the foreshore. They also partner with Sustainable Coastlines and Sea Cleaners to co-ordinate larger scale clean ups in the area. Their clean ups sit alongside their work in the community to educate people about how to reduce household waste and their assistance with supporting community events to be zero waste.
Their voluntary work helps to stem the flow of rubbish out into the Manukau Harbour and beyond, and also works to educate people about the impact littering and illegal dumping can have on the eco-system. Lots of children are involved in the clean ups, and they are learning valuable life lessons that will impact the way they live in the world as adults.
Nominated by: Justine Skilling of Talking Rubbish- ME Family Services on 31 January 2018