AN­DREA REID

NZ Gardener - - Front Page - TEXT: NICKY PEL­LE­GRINO PHOTO: JA­SON DORDAY/STUFF

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.”

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