Mass tree planting

Luke Parker
Mass tree planting

The Otaki River had an environmental facelift today with 1,100 native trees planted along Chrystall’s Walkway, a popular walking track along the river.

Friends of the Otaki River members, Otaki College students, parents, staff, Westpac personnel, and the general public donned their gumboots and got stuck into the mass planting set appropriately on New Zealand Arbor Day and World Environment Day.

SEE ALSO: Restoring our waterways

Friends of the Otaki River Treasurer, Trevor Wylie, said the team planted 15 different native species which were grown from seeds collected in the region.


“This particular area of the river is part of an overall plan for planting and recreational development covering a period of ten years,” Trevor said. “Environmentally it will bring native trees and birds back to the area which in past years has been denuded of native trees. It will also bring stabilisation to the river banks which assist in flood protection for the area.”

He said it was great to have a number of students from Otaki College take part in the planting for the first time.

“Two primary schools have been involved to date,” he said. “It’s vital that younger people are engaged in restoration and environmental activities. This gives students who are interested in the environment and community an opportunity to take part and establish a growing tribute in which they played a part in creating. It also provides expert tuition about the species being potted and planted.”

The schools are encouraged to revisit the planting area after two years for the students to observe progress.

Westpac donated $5,000 for the purchasing of the trees and bark.

“We are extremely grateful to Westpac for the assistance received. Without this help our planting programme would have to be really pruned,” Trevor said.

He said Friends of the Otaki River has 280 members, with around 25 turning out every Wednesday morning to attend to all sorts of tasks.

“There are three or four plantings in the winter season where approximately 5,000 trees will be planted. On a public planting day, we generally get 40 to 60 helpers. They’re a dedicated lot!”

SEE ALSO: Restoring our waterways

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