South Coast Environment Society

South Coast Environment Society

We're a highly energised group managing a vibrant Environment Centre and many innovative projects. "Environmental Inspiration and action!"


Our Environment Centre in Riverton is a venue for many active local groups including an organic food co-operative, Riverton Estuary Care, and Riverton Organic Growers.

We run festivals and projects, such as the annual Heritage Harvest Festival and the Open Orchard project, and provide information on how to live sustainably.

We have an impressive array of other projects and initiatives, including Southland Seed Savers Network, Southland-wide adults and children's education and the establishment of Heritage Orchard parks throughout Southland. Our latest project, the Longwood Loop (a re-localising project for resilience and rural economic development) has just been launched.

Full list of projects you can donate to is on our website, let us know which project you want to support:

More about us

The South Coast Environment Society (SCES) was formed in 1996 to operate the newly established Riverton Environment Centre in Southland. The Centre provides a base for and supports the three pre-existing groups, Riverton Estuary Care, Riverton Organic Gardeners, and Riverton Organic Food Co-op.

With educational displays in the Centre the Society promotes environmental awareness on a broad range of topics. They have an impressive array of other projects and initiatives that otherwise would have been difficult to facilitate without such a base: Southland Seed Savers, Open Orchard Project, and the annual Heritage Harvest Festival to name a few.

The Society has provided constant and reliable management for the Centre, making it the oldest continuously running Environment Centre in New Zealand. In 2016 the Centre was judged as the best Environment Centre in NZ by the Ministry for the Environment.

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Latest update

Help us meet the demand for our projects and services  20 February 2020

Times have changed and all our projects and services are in high demand from Southlanders, New Zealanders, travelers and the world.

We need to move up from a small business model with 40 paid hours and 70 voluntary hours a week which is no longer enough to do our projects justice.

We have been achieving highly with National recognition for many years, but now we are in danger of volunteer and staff burnout as our workload has tripled in the last three years.

We are busy applying for local and national funds for our projects but have limited success due to our small rural population base,and, even though our projects are saving biodiversity, education and heritage plants and skills, they aren't seen as a neat match with present grant requirements.

See: for more details on what you donation can support.

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Latest donations

margo on 17 Oct 2023
Always good to be in touch from the top of the south. Te ika a maui
Donors’ tax credits TaxGifted
Donors’ tax credits TaxGifted on 30 Jun 2023
This donation is from generous donors who opted in to regift their tax credits via TaxGift. Aren’t they awesome!
Val on 06 May 2023
I like to support people who are doing things the natural way
Sharon on 30 Apr 2023
Steph on 25 Mar 2023

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