If you’ve ever come up on the ice for a hike with us you’ve probably figured out we’re pretty passionate about this environment we’re lucky enough to work in. We love showing visitors this unique place and because it’s so special to us we get involved in projects that help protect and support the natural environment and the local community whenever we can.
Some of the projects we’re pretty proud of include stoat and rat trapping. Since 2009 we’ve removed over 400 stoats and rats from our precious environment, helping native species like Kea and Kiwi survive. We’re also involved in tree planting, which we do in conjunction with the Department of Conservation as part of the “Glaciers to Wetlands Restoration Project”. This planting is also a way for Franz Josef Glacier Guides to offset its Co2 emissions with over 600 trees planted so far this year. Just last month guides were out planting Totaras, Manukas, and Coprosmas to help encourage native ecosystems. We’re pretty stoked to plant Totaras, these trees are endemic to New Zealand and grow to become the mighty giants of our forests reaching heights of 25 – 30 metres. We might not be around to see them reach those heights but it’s great to know such majestic trees will provide a haven for native flora and fauna.
When we’re not out trapping pests or planting trees, you’ll probably catch us helping out around the community whenever we can, like cleaning up the local Playgroup playground or helping out with local events like the recent South Westland Triathalon. One of our favourite initiatives recently was seeing our old boot liners up-cycled by Franz Josef School as part of a Wearable Art Project by senior students (better than sending them to landfill!). We feel humbled to be amongst West Coast giants, whether it’s snow-capped peaks, mighty Totaras, or the cascading glaciers themselves, it’s a place worth protecting.
Franz Josef Glacier Guides is a Qualmark Enviro Gold company.