A Winter’s Tale – Part 2
North Island Snapshot
Over the winter teams from Alsco branches have been grabbing gumboots and spades and heading out on weekend mornings to plant trees along their local rivers and streams. Team planting days are part of Alsco’s ongoing commitment to waterway restoration through a partnership with the Million Metres environmental initiative.
The overall impact from Alsco’s planting days around the country has been significant with 300 volunteers planting 800 metres of river bank with more than 4000 native trees.
In the North Island, the Million Metres & Alsco 2019 Planting Day series took place in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington.
Rich, soft soil, a sparkling clear stream and a beautiful variety of native trees - it was planting day perfection when a bunch of keen volunteers turned up on a Saturday morning to plant seedlings along a stream that flows into Whangarei Falls.
The planting contributes to ongoing efforts by local group Whitebait Connection to restore the health of waterways in Whangarei, and also the harbour into which these streams flow.
Thomas Hart, Whangarei Service Manager says “There was a whole heap of volunteers and they did a great job. It’s a great thing for the community.”
19 volunteers – 180 metres of stream bank – 625 native plantings
The planting day was held at a magic spot in the Waitakere Ranges known as Matuku Link. This native forest block links untouched kauri forest, a river valley, wetlands and the sea, and is home to rare wetland birds like the Matuku, Pateke and Puweto, as well as native eels.
Volunteers took part in three activities – planting native seedlings, releasing weeds from around baby trees, and going on a guided walk to learn more about the forest habitat and the wildlife it supports. Their efforts contribute to Matuku Link’s long term vision of restoring the area into one of rich diverse habitat for native animals.
Gavin Smith, Alsco Business & Product Development Manager said “This is a fantastic and enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning. You get a real good feeling doing something like this, and meet some amazing people.”
75 volunteers – 75 metres of wetland - 750 native plants
The warm, calm weather and beautiful sunshine, in what can be a notoriously wild and windy spot, contributed to a very memorable day for those who took part. Planting took place along the Wainuiomata River where it runs through Baring Head reserve.
This is another area where the local group – Friends of Baring Head have been working over a number of years to restore the river and the valley through which it flows. The planting day contributes to a whole winter of restoration work.
David Gluyas, Wellington Manager says "It was a most enjoyable and rewarding day with a great group of like minded people getting stuck in to what was really fun work - even for the kids involved! Let’s do it again soon!"
55 volunteers – 75 metres of river bank – 700 native plants
Gerard Kelly from Hamilton City Council was our planting day captain for a very enjoyable morning of tree planting at Lake Rotokaeo in Hamilton. Gerard explained that the area we were planting was part of the Celebration of Life forest. Trees planted by the community over many years now form an area of maturing native forest. It was inspiring to see what the little seedlings we were planting today would become in the years ahead.
Once all the plants were in the ground, the team assembled at one end of the planting area and slowly made their way across, stamping gently around each seedling to ensure it was securely in the ground and would withstand rain and wind.
Cameron Rout, Hamilton Branch Manager said “We’re happy to be here planting trees and we have a good turn out today. Alsco’s thrilled to be part of the Million Metres restoration programme."
35 volunteers – 40 metres of planting – 746 native plants