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Petone locals pitch in to replant sand dunes

Sep 10th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

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LOCAL HANDS made for light work as Petone residents took part in a planting drive last Saturday to replace grass dunes that were blown out by the June storm.

Hutt City Council may have provided the shovels and plants, but it was the local residents who were getting their hands dirty.

Richard and Summer Greenfield were among those helping out on the weekend.

“It’s good to plant and help out,” said Mrs Greenfield.  “I really think the sand dunes look great. They just make it a natural beach.”

The pair live near the beach and were disappointed to see the wreckage on the beach  in the aftermath of the storm.

“It looked great before the storm. It was just a bit of the shame to see a lot of the dunes lost in it,” Mr Greenfield said.GraemeHead

Graeme Lyon, right, convener of the Friends of Petone Beach group, along with the council, helped organise the clean-up.

The working bee had strong support from local residents as well as from community groups like the local tramping and underwater clubs.

“So we’ve got lots of helpers,” said Mr Lyon.

Friends of Petone Beach help maintain and plant sand dunes each year. Mr Lyon said the storm had taken away years of the group’s work.

“We had some plants along here that had been built up over the six or eight years that the group has been planting, and the storm took away around five metres of sand plants along the whole length of the beach.”

Mr Lyon predicts it will take the beach a further two to three years to recover.

Kristan Robinson, Hutt City Council’s volunteer coordinator, said the Friends of Petone Beach was a “great group”.

“It’s a good activity to build the community. It’s not only the aesthetics of the beach and recreating the dunes, but it helps the community have a place that they can put their mark on.”

Ms Robinson also helped out on the day and explained how spinifex plants are used to accumulate the sand being blown off the beach and create sand dunes.

She said that, without the plants, sand could be blown on to the roads of the esplanade, and “that will end up costing the council money to remove”.

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