n late 2015 the Rotary Club of Wellington was approached by the Wellington City Council to see whether it would work in partnership with the Council to set up a community group to trap vermin on the Mt Victoria Town Belt. This was in an effort to ‘bring back the birds’.
A series of community meetings was held during 2016 to garner support, and in October of that year the first traps were installed. These were funded by the Rotary Club of Wellington and the Wellington City Council and installed and maintained by keen residents from the surrounding residential area.
Over the next year additional traps were purchased with funding from the Edna and Ron Greenwood Environmental Trust, the Thankyou Charitable Trust and the Rotary Club of Wellington. By October 2016 more than 1000 critters had been caught, including nine weasels.
Recently the Mt Victoria Town belt has been fully trapped out with funding provided by the local Club and District 9940 Rotary through the Rotary Foundation. The group is now moving the project out into the surrounding residential communities. The aim is to have one trap per five residences in an effort to establish a halo around the town belt to prevent vermin re-infesting the area.
This project is a good example of Rotary taking the lead in initiating and establishing a project for the social good; and then retreating from that leadership position when the project is then owned by the local community. It has been extremely successful and as an ancillary benefit underpins the Rotary Club of Wellington’s Centenary Project ‘A Forest in the City’ which aims to plant 100,000 trees on Mt Victoria by 2021.
  Editors note:  Pictures of dead vermin deliberately left out!