The first winter planting day for the Wairaki Stream was scheduled for mid-July and an enthusiastic group turned up ready to get stuck in.
Leaders Dianne McCarthy and Kathy Neilson had to quickly action their plan B when it became apparent that the 300 plants ordered would not be available. There had been a mix up at Council with recent changes to staffing. Undeterred, they set the group to work on weeding and clearing of exotic plants. Upstream of Commodore Drive there is very little regenerated native bush cover after earlier periods of farming decades ago and then subdivision works.
The areas already cleared of weeds and rubbish is really impressive and planting it out in natives will transform the reserve. The Friends of Wairaki Stream (FOWS) group have done a sterling job of progressing Auckland Council’s conservation plan. On the day, with so much labour available, significant progress was made removing an invasive creeper and other weeds.
It was wonderful to see groups turning up to work together including a migrant group connected to Conservation New Zealand. Working as a group gives people confidence and training to undertake conservation work.
Dianne says “We had 29 FOWS stalwarts who braved the weather and turned up to plant 300 trees. When our trees didn't turn up they took their frustrations out on the jasmine, blue morning glory, ginger, palm grass, asparagus and ivy weeds to clear even more space for our tree planting on 8 August. The Chilli Restaurant kindly donated delicious club sandwiches, sausages rolls and litres of juice to revive the workers. Sincere thanks to all.”
FOWS really is just a group of concerned local residents who got together and decided to make this part of the planet a better place.
Join the team for the next planting days: Sat 8 August and Tues 18 August. Search “Friends of Wairaki Stream on Facebook.