Young people can make a difference; that’s Andrea Reid’s philosophy and she’s proving the truth of it as she progresses with her ambitious plan to create pollinator pathways connecting parks and reserves across Auckland city.
It all started with a thesis Andrea wrote while studying landscape architecture. It focused on the importance of creating urban habitats for our pollinators and, after she’d finished it, Andrea, now 25, decided to have a go at turning theory into reality.
“I guess it’s just in my personality to want to make a difference and create change rather than expecting someone else to take care of things,” she explains.
From applying for funding to working with community groups, Andrea has been on a steep learning curve. “I’ve had to pick things up as I went along and get support from people who could see my passion and wanted to help me make it happen.”
The first installation in Grey Lynn has been planted with lots of our pollinators in mind – not just bees, but also butterflies, birds, insects, lizards and bats.
Andrea is in the process of planning the next installation and is also busy producing resources to help people create pollinatorfriendly backyards and berms as well as business premises.
She does all this whilst holding down a full-time job as a landscape architect, although her employer, Aecom Engineering, does allow her to spend some work hours on the pollinator paths project.
“I also spend weekends, evenings and lunchtimes on it – probably 75 per cent of my free time. My boyfriend’s always telling me it’s OK to stop and watch a movie every now and then,” she laughs.
But Andrea is dedicated to making sure Auckland is as liveable a city for pollinators as it is for its human inhabitants.
“It makes me happy to see I really can make a difference,” she says. “I’ve inspired and motivated other people too, which I love too.”