|Canterbury Plantout Update
Over 300 volunteers have joined Te Ara Kākāriki at various sites across Selwyn since our first plant out in August.
On September 22nd our biggest plantout of the season saw up to 150 dedicated volunteers show up to plant almost 5,000 native seedlings at properties in Hororata and surrounding areas.
Split into two groups, volunteers travelled to three sites each. Buses, tools, food and refreshments as well as dinner was provided for the whole day. One group was fortunate to plant at the stunning Hororata Golf course. Pauline Pearce, (pictured left) is a regular volunteer at the course, and she brought along her niece Chloe Sands for the day. Pauline proudly showed volunteers established native plantings carried out in 2010, many of which were four or five metres tall. The soil was soft and dark, so this was one of the more favourable planting sites.
The Canterbury plantout days attract a diverse range of people with the same common goal. Sue and Karl Thompson planted at Pam Aldersley's site in Springfield. They drove from Christchurch with their 10-month-old daughter Olive to be among like – minded people and spend a day in nature. Olive helped by passing stakes to her mum and helping Dad firm down the soil. “Today I’ve really enjoyed seeing the plantings from the past few years alongside todays new seedlings, it’s such a beautiful spot planting so close to the snowy mountains” said Karl (below right).
Despite a detailed schedule set out for the day, there were a few surprises. One of the group bus’s batteries went flat causing those in charge to flurry around to come up with a plan B. Despite some delays, and a few hundred being left unplanted for two landowners, comments from the volunteers were cheerful. Michal Kuchar, a student from Lincoln University said that it was one of the best volunteer events he has been to across New Zealand, so he always looks forward to the next Te Ara Kākāriki Plantout day.
Te Ara Kākāriki seek out willing landowners every year, as well as public lands for planting native ‘Greendots, or stepping stones for birds across the plains. This particular program in Hororata is funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund and will continue for one more year.