Volunteers make short work of streamside weeds

KICKING OUT THE KIKUYU: Sister Meg Hills from St Mary’s, and Kay Barlow from the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust, get stuck into clearing weeds from the Waikanae Stream. Pictures by Kim Parkinson

ROOM TO GROW: Department of Conservation staff member Anna Barber puts her back into it, pulling out the prolific kikuyu grass from around the natives.
MANY HANDS: A great turn-out to the first Waikanae Stream working bee for this year saw 19 people turn up to help with the project.

A dream team of volunteers cleared a stretch of riverbank weeds at Waikanae Stream on Sunday, allowing the native trees planted there room to grow.

One of the organisers, Jill Hudson, said 19 volunteers helped on the day and got a lot more done than she expected.

“I thought it was brilliant — the kikuyu grass can be really hard work but they cleared most of it,” she said.

“The key to the whole problem of weeds is maintenance, so these gardening working bees are important to ensure the natives thrive.”

Sunday’s crew made swift progress in the two hours, working shoulder to shoulder on the stretch of riverbank at the Grey Street Skate Park.

The Waikanae Stream revegetation programme was started eight years ago by Jason Akuhata-Brown, who said the native trees and shrubs were looking great and spreading well in the Skate Park streamside planting.

A lot of people have contributed to the project over the years, including Te Ora Hou, Department of Conservation, Women’s Native Tree Project Trust, Gisborne District Council, Keep Gisborne Beautiful, Tairawhiti Environment Centre, Forest and Bird Gisborne, Eastland Port and Jukes Carriers.

A dream team of volunteers cleared a stretch of riverbank weeds at Waikanae Stream on Sunday, allowing the native trees planted there room to grow.

One of the organisers, Jill Hudson, said 19 volunteers helped on the day and got a lot more done than she expected.

“I thought it was brilliant — the kikuyu grass can be really hard work but they cleared most of it,” she said.

“The key to the whole problem of weeds is maintenance, so these gardening working bees are important to ensure the natives thrive.”

Sunday’s crew made swift progress in the two hours, working shoulder to shoulder on the stretch of riverbank at the Grey Street Skate Park.

The Waikanae Stream revegetation programme was started eight years ago by Jason Akuhata-Brown, who said the native trees and shrubs were looking great and spreading well in the Skate Park streamside planting.

A lot of people have contributed to the project over the years, including Te Ora Hou, Department of Conservation, Women’s Native Tree Project Trust, Gisborne District Council, Keep Gisborne Beautiful, Tairawhiti Environment Centre, Forest and Bird Gisborne, Eastland Port and Jukes Carriers.

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