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Thousands of native plants ready to be dug in

May 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

READY TO GROW: Rows of Taupata, a native coastal shrub, at the council nursery.

THE MAYOR of Wellington will be getting her hands dirty planting native shrubs and trees with the help of volunteers to celebrate Arbor Day and World Environment Day, on June 5.

3,000 native plants will be planted by mayor Celia Wade-Brown and volunteers in the Oruaiti Reserve, a coastal area near Seatoun, according to Wellington City Council.

“This kicks off the start of the council’s expansive winter planting of 50,000 native plants,” says Myfanwy Emeny, Biodiversity Coordinator of the Parks and Gardens unit.

The unit’s theme this year is “Coasting Along” which focuses on coastal plants and habitats.

Cabbage trees, ngaio, taupata and spinifex are just some of the coastal plants that an estimated 150-200 volunteers will help plant in the reserve, says Miss Emeny.

Shrub land will also be created to help reduce the rabbit population and encourage native species to breed, she adds.

“The shrubs will create nesting areas for the little blue penguins around Breaker Bay, and also encourage the lizard population.”

Native coastal vegetation and dunes are some of New Zealand’s most threatened ecosystems, according to the Department of Conservation website.

“We’ll be restoring dune plants, like the spinifex, which tends to get trampled on by people,” says Miss Emeny.

New Zealand’s first Arbor Day was on July 3, 1890, in the Wairarapa. It marks the beginning of the planting season and encourages people to plant and care for trees.

It is now observed on the same day as World Environment Day, a United Nation’s initiative started in 1972.

Miss Emeny says anybody can come and help with the planting.

“Hopefully there will be a good turnout. I think a lot of children from Seatoun School and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori school will be involved.”

The council says it produces 90,000 native plants annually for the city’s natural areas.

The Port Nicholson Trust, who own the reserve, have teamed up with the council to hold the event.

More details about the event and volunteering can be found here.


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