Artwork by Kāpiti College teacher Caroline Beaufort is featuring prominently in Conservation Week's 50th anniversary which is under way now.

Beaufort, the college's head of art, created various artworks for the Conservation Department in 2003 during a year's study leave.

The department had been looking for an artist so her sister Susan Galbraith, who was working there, suggested Beaufort.

It led to Beaufort creating a series of artworks called Our Places Our Stories which featured in that year's Conservation Week.

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The compilation, which featured on a large poster, comprised pā sites, the Treaty House, churches, lighthouses, stained glass, mountains, middens and more.

"The whole idea was that everything was woven together with the harakeke.

"At the time I did a lot of research."

The department has now selected various artworks from throughout the 50 years, including Beaufort's compilation, to create a series of 50th anniversary cards.

Caroline Beaufort's artwork which is featuring in Conservation Week's 50th anniversary.
Caroline Beaufort's artwork which is featuring in Conservation Week's 50th anniversary.

"I was very lucky to be selected.

"I was astounded and very humbled because I knew who else has had artworks in Conservation Week over the years.

"I thought 'wow they've chosen one of mine'.

"I can't believe I'm up there with Don Binney and Friedensreich Hundertwasser — perhaps they were mistaken.

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"I was also very honoured because a lot of my values about what I teach is around conservation."

She felt it was important for people to be connected to nature "especially in this day and age with how it [global warming] is affecting the planet".

"Our young people really get it, are engaged in it, and worry about their future.

"It takes all of us to jump in and be part of that conversation which is very important."

Conservation Week was originally launched in 1969 by the New Zealand Scout Association, with the goal to promote greater interest in the environment and encourage people to take practical actions to look after it, the department said.

"The Nature Conservation Council then had a turn at running the campaign, while other organisations like the Post Office Savings Bank, Caltex Oil NZ, and the Todd Foundation came to the party with educational resources.

"Over the years famous artists like Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Don Binney have contributed their art for previous campaigns.

"When the Department of Conservation was formed in 1987 it took over the Conservation Week duties, and has since worked with other groups, businesses, councils and agencies to make it all happen."