Many hands making light work at Titirangi restoration

GET MULCHING: Gisborne District Council planning and performance team members Mike Parsons (left) and Harley Dibble (right), and YMCA alternative education programme students Leonard Kawana (centre left), Waiora Leilua (centre) and Douglas Grant (second from right) get stuck in during a plant care session on Titirangi as part of Conservation Week. Pictures by Liam Clayton
HARD AT WORK: Department of Conservation Gateway Kane Smith attacks blackberry.
YMCA alternative education programme student Te Ahurei Ratima deposits mulch around the base of a tree. They were among about 30 people who turned out for a plant care session on Titirangi this week.

A BIT of drizzle did not put off a hardy group of volunteers who turned out in force to care for native plants on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) as part of Conservation Week.

About 30 people turned out on Wednesday morning to remove weeds and place mulch around native plants and trees in a section on Titirangi planted by the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust (WNTPT) in 2008.

The plant care session was a collaboration between Gisborne District Council, the Department of Conservation, Nga Whenua Rahui, WNTPT and Tairawhiti Environment Centre, all of which had been involved in the weekly volunteer programme Conservation Experiences.

GDC project manager Andy Kinsella has been running monthly plant care sessions at different sites around Titirangi for Conservation Experiences as part of the native restoration project on the hill.

To celebrate Conservation Week they wanted to bring together all of the organisations involved in the weekly sessions.

“It has been a great collaboration.”

The Titirangi restoration project was progressing well. Their approach was dealing with “bite-size chunks” at a time, he said.

“We have been working on different sections of the maunga, clearing it, planting it and then getting the weeds under control before moving on to the next section.

“If you take on too much, the weeds just pile back in and it can be a losing battle. With bite-size chunks it can become self-sustainable over time.”

The idea was to do intensive weeding until the native trees formed a canopy, which would stop sunlight getting through to the ground, and eventually leave the weeds to die off.

Big volunteer sessions, like on Wednesday, were hugely helpful, he said.

“These guys are awesome. It really makes a huge difference when you get a good turnout.”

WNTPT’s Kay Barlow said a range of trees had been planted, including many pohutakawa and cabbage trees.

There had been a bit of die-off, due to bits of concrete under the soil, “but now it is looking really good”.

DoC community engagement supervisor Charles Barrie said the plant care session was a good way to celebrate Conservation Week.

“It is good to be able to contribute to the ecological restoration of Gisborne and have the different organisations working with the community to enhance our own backyard.”

A BIT of drizzle did not put off a hardy group of volunteers who turned out in force to care for native plants on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) as part of Conservation Week.

About 30 people turned out on Wednesday morning to remove weeds and place mulch around native plants and trees in a section on Titirangi planted by the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust (WNTPT) in 2008.

The plant care session was a collaboration between Gisborne District Council, the Department of Conservation, Nga Whenua Rahui, WNTPT and Tairawhiti Environment Centre, all of which had been involved in the weekly volunteer programme Conservation Experiences.

GDC project manager Andy Kinsella has been running monthly plant care sessions at different sites around Titirangi for Conservation Experiences as part of the native restoration project on the hill.

To celebrate Conservation Week they wanted to bring together all of the organisations involved in the weekly sessions.

“It has been a great collaboration.”

The Titirangi restoration project was progressing well. Their approach was dealing with “bite-size chunks” at a time, he said.

“We have been working on different sections of the maunga, clearing it, planting it and then getting the weeds under control before moving on to the next section.

“If you take on too much, the weeds just pile back in and it can be a losing battle. With bite-size chunks it can become self-sustainable over time.”

The idea was to do intensive weeding until the native trees formed a canopy, which would stop sunlight getting through to the ground, and eventually leave the weeds to die off.

Big volunteer sessions, like on Wednesday, were hugely helpful, he said.

“These guys are awesome. It really makes a huge difference when you get a good turnout.”

WNTPT’s Kay Barlow said a range of trees had been planted, including many pohutakawa and cabbage trees.

There had been a bit of die-off, due to bits of concrete under the soil, “but now it is looking really good”.

DoC community engagement supervisor Charles Barrie said the plant care session was a good way to celebrate Conservation Week.

“It is good to be able to contribute to the ecological restoration of Gisborne and have the different organisations working with the community to enhance our own backyard.”

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