More than fifty sites planted

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - AUTOZONE - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

Te Ara Ka¯ka¯riki Green­way Can­ter­bury Trust (TAK) cel­e­brated the plant­ing of its fifti­eth site on Sat­ur­day, vol­un­teers brav­ing high winds to plant the site.

Plantout cood­i­na­tor Eliz­a­beth Guthrey said that al­though the day was windy, they ‘‘made it through with a smile’’.

‘‘It must have been a worth­while cause for every­one. The wind made us work hard, so we even fin­ished the three sites a lit­tle early.’’

Guthrey said the site’s own­ers let vol­un­teers have lunch in their house to avoid the worst of the weather.

The sun came out for the afternoon in time for or­gan­is­ers and vol­un­teers to share cake in cel­e­bra­tion of the mile­stone.

Over the 11 years of TAK’s ex­is­tence they and vol­un­teers had planted more than 49,300 na­tive plants. The fifty sites en­com­passed, pri­vate, pub­lic and school land.

By the end of Spring, Guthrey said they would have planted more than 56,000.

Dur­ing the group’s pre­vi­ous out­ing, on Septem­ber 2, vol­un­teers planted more than 1300 na­tive trees and shrubs at three Sel­wyn district sites.

A pad­dock on or­ganic mar­ket gar­dener Vanya Ali­son Maw’s farm was the first site vis­ited by the vol­un­teers.

Maw had been plant­ing na­tives on her prop­erty for about two decades.

Guthrey said Maw was over­joyed that so many had vol­un­teered to sup­port her in plant­ing the pad­dock she had ded­i­cated for a for­est.

‘‘It’s a bit of a dream for her [the na­tive plant­ing], it helps if some­one like the trust comes along and makes that dream come along faster,’’ Guthrey said.

Ecol­o­gist Nathan Dougherty said na­tive birds were al­ready feeding on Maw’s na­tive trees, and he was ex­cited to con­tinue restor­ing the field in com­ing years.

TAK had more plant­ing days com­ing up on Septem­ber 16 in Horo­rata and Septem­ber 30 in the area of the Port Hills af­fected by the re­cent fires.

— Vol­un­teers could reg­is­ter at www.kakariki.org.nz. Buses and food were pro­vided for most events.

SUPPLIED

Te Ara Ka¯ka¯riki Green­way Can­ter­bury Trust team cut the cake for the fifti­eth site.

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