Pat and Sue O’Brien, local farmers, were delighted to see 50 volunteers joining in with the community planting day on Saturday the 28th of June. Alongside the local community, people came from as far away as Napier and Gisborne to celebrate the first planting initiative of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group. Rae Tenahu, secretary for the group noted “I was blown away by the number of people who turned up and the progress we have made in one day!” “I really enjoyed seeing all these young Tamariki who will lead this project in the future.”
A core group of volunteers spent the week organising the event, carting trees to the planting site and preparing holes with post hole borers to make the job easier for the volunteers.
Nic Caviale, the project coordinator explained “Site access is quite difficult especially under wet conditions, which makes the whole operation tricky and weather dependent.” “I was planning on planting 2000 trees but we ended up establishing 5000!”
Part of the restoration plan is to fence off the entire course of the Whangawehi Stream and establish native trees. The O’Briens and Grandy Lake Forest have agreed to retire 10 ha of riparian margins for conservation planting and will have established 30 000 native plants at the completion of the project. To achieve this, the members of the group receive financial and technical support from a wide range of agencies and partners.
The community of Whangawehi will be having a second community day, Saturday the 20th of July. If you are interested in joining us, please check out our blog (https://whangawehi.wordpress.com) or contact Pat and Sue O’Brien.