Wetland vandalism heartbreaking

HARD TO UNDERSTAND: Gisborne District Council water quality science officer, Harriet Roil, surveys the carnage following an act of vandalism at the newly-planted Tamarau wetlands. Picture by Liam Clayton

Vandals have destroyed extensive planting work at the Tamarau wetland at Heath Johnston Park.

The attack comes on the back of similar vandalism at two other public spaces managed by Gisborne District Council.

Following community efforts to get the donated plants in the ground at the newly-created Tamarau wetland, more than 200 of the plants were ripped out and thrown into the stream overnight.

Gisborne District Council water quality science officer Harriet Roil said it was heartbreaking after all the hard work put into the project.

“This is extremely disappointing, as the project is for the benefit of the community, our water quality and the environment, and has been well supported by the council and local residents.”

Community volunteers and Gisborne Intermediate students last week helped council’s biosecurity, river and land drainage and environmental monitoring teams put more than 3000 plants in the ground.

The plants were intended to enhance the freshwater habitat for aquatic life and improve water quality by creating shade and filtering contaminants out of the water before it moved down the Wainui stream.

Ms Roil said the wetland would have significant environmental impacts on the area.

“The Tamarau wetland will enhance the ecological values of the headwaters of the Wainui stream, once the plants and wetland are established.

“It will also create a space for people to use and enjoy, not only for educational purposes but also for the greatly improved ecology and biodiversity.”

Stormwater wetlands contribute to reducing pollution. They are natural cleansers of the environment, taking out pollutants in the water through physical, chemical and biological processes.

The plants were donated by the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust and Native Garden Nursery, and were planted by council staff with help from many volunteers and Gisborne Intermediate students.

In May, newly-planted flowers at the Botanical Gardens were ripped out and dumped, equating to about $550 worth of damage. In June, branches were ripped off pohutukawa and puriri trees planted near the wharf area. The trees were lucky to survive.

Council staff said a lot of work was done to make Gisborne look beautiful but unfortunately vandalism like this was not uncommon.

The public can report any such vandalism to the police.

Vandals have destroyed extensive planting work at the Tamarau wetland at Heath Johnston Park.

The attack comes on the back of similar vandalism at two other public spaces managed by Gisborne District Council.

Following community efforts to get the donated plants in the ground at the newly-created Tamarau wetland, more than 200 of the plants were ripped out and thrown into the stream overnight.

Gisborne District Council water quality science officer Harriet Roil said it was heartbreaking after all the hard work put into the project.

“This is extremely disappointing, as the project is for the benefit of the community, our water quality and the environment, and has been well supported by the council and local residents.”

Community volunteers and Gisborne Intermediate students last week helped council’s biosecurity, river and land drainage and environmental monitoring teams put more than 3000 plants in the ground.

The plants were intended to enhance the freshwater habitat for aquatic life and improve water quality by creating shade and filtering contaminants out of the water before it moved down the Wainui stream.

Ms Roil said the wetland would have significant environmental impacts on the area.

“The Tamarau wetland will enhance the ecological values of the headwaters of the Wainui stream, once the plants and wetland are established.

“It will also create a space for people to use and enjoy, not only for educational purposes but also for the greatly improved ecology and biodiversity.”

Stormwater wetlands contribute to reducing pollution. They are natural cleansers of the environment, taking out pollutants in the water through physical, chemical and biological processes.

The plants were donated by the Women’s Native Tree Project Trust and Native Garden Nursery, and were planted by council staff with help from many volunteers and Gisborne Intermediate students.

In May, newly-planted flowers at the Botanical Gardens were ripped out and dumped, equating to about $550 worth of damage. In June, branches were ripped off pohutukawa and puriri trees planted near the wharf area. The trees were lucky to survive.

Council staff said a lot of work was done to make Gisborne look beautiful but unfortunately vandalism like this was not uncommon.

The public can report any such vandalism to the police.

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A. Mary Pohatu, Barcelona - 2 months ago
Heartbreaking alright. Can't believe the effort this person or people went to to ruin everything.

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